The fallout between Cabinet colleagues continues as Prime Minister Gaston Browne expressed his ire with Education Minister Michael Browne over the leaked memo which criticized the government’s deal with Global Ports Holding (GPH).
The public bashing of Michael Browne – the twice-elected Member of Parliament for the constituency of All Saints West – began shortly after several media houses received the copy of a memo to Cabinet written by the Education Minister, expressing his concerns over the Global Ports Holding agreement.
This past weekend, the Prime Minister said his namesake had been warned beforehand about the consequences that would arise if the document or its contents were leaked.
“The Minister was forewarned. He was told in Cabinet that in the event that this paper was to be released and, based on the language that was used in a way which it ridiculed the Prime Minister, ‘it may have consequences for you’,” Gaston Browne said.
“We were surprised that one [of the papers that was retracted by the Education Minister] was eventually leaked.”
The eight-page letter, published last week, detailed some of the concerns that the Education Minister had with the Global Ports Agreement.
Michael Browne has been completely silent where defending himself is concerned; confounding all expectations that he might, for example, disclose his rationale for writing the letter in the first place, and whether or not the concerns he outlined in it about the GPH agreement had been allayed.
The Prime Minister added that Cabinet officials are constantly reminded about what can be discussed in Cabinet.
“I always say to my Cabinet colleagues, ‘do not bring anything into the Cabinet, discuss anything in the Cabinet, or make any decision that cannot stand up to public scrutiny’,” he said.
Education Minister Browne was scheduled be interviewed on OBSERVER AM yesterday to discuss several issues, including a strike by staff of the Antigua State College, but the Minister unexpectedly cancelled the interview.