UPP political leader fails to raise matter with Integrity Commission

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The political leader of the opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) Harold Lovell said he has not delivered on a public commitment to raise matters with the Integrity Commission involving the business dealings of persons close to the prime minister.

Lovell has publicly questioned a deal involving Prime Minister Gaston Browne’s son who bought land near Long Bay for nearly EC $2 million before selling it for around EC $4 million, months later.

The land was sold to an investor who also purchased nearby land from the government at a significantly lower price.

The deal was done by IF Antigua, which is owned by Gaston Andron Browne III and who was represented by the Chairman of the Integrity Commission, Radford Hill and his law firm Hill & Hill.

Lovell has called on Hill to step down during an investigation and promised to take evidence in the matter to the Integrity Commission.

However, when questioned about whether he has taken the matter to the Commission, Lovell replied: “No we haven’t done so yet … I accept that [that’s a failing grade]”.

“What we have done really is we have publicised it widely; we haven’t specifically sent it to the Integrity Commission, but we have sent it to all the parliamentarians, we have broadcast it on social media and we have publicised it to the world at large,” said Lovell.

The UPP political leader again committed to take the matter to the commission within 24 hours.

Lovell was to have raised the issue along with a land deal involving Cove Head Limited, which is owned by Hyacinth Harris with whom Browne shares a child. Cove Head Limited swapped land with the government-owned National Housing Development and Urban Renewal Company.

Lovell has argued the terms of the swap were favourable to the company owned by Browne’s ex-girlfriend.

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