By Devonne Cornelius
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Shawn Richards has revealed that the reason for his absence from Cabinet for the past two months is related to the ongoing legal matter of Minister Hon. Lindsay Grant.
During a People’s Action Movement (PAM) Townhall Meeting on Thursday, Richards said the decision was taken to avoid Cabinet meetings until his name was cleared from the matter involving government minister Lindsay Grant at the Last Lap Bar earlier this year.
Deputy Prime Minister Richards told those listening and viewing via radio and internet that while he was present at the Last Lap Bar the night the incident occurred, he was not involved and had no altercation with law enforcement officers.
“I heard that my name is in the police report relative to this incident at Last Lap. ‘Wah me name in the police report for?’ I did not witness anything at Last Lap Bar and I wasn’t part of any incident at Last Lap.
I went to work the next morning and I called the Commissioner of Police and said ‘I’ve been made to understand that my name is in the police report.’ The commissioner said ‘yes, I have the report and your name is in it,” Richards said.
“The last thing I was told is that the report has been altered and my name has been removed. About a week later, someone came and said they heard I was at Last Lap Bar when this thing happened…and I said ‘it got to be my name is still in this report. The next day, I went to Cabinet and I complained about it again because I was told that my name was removed but based on reliable information, my name is still in the report…and I took a decision that until this matter is cleared up, I am not coming back to any Cabinet meeting,” he added.
On January 08, 2022, Minister of Tourism Hon. Lindsay Grant was caught on camera in a tense verbal spat with law enforcement officers. The video generated much debate locally and was widely circulated and Grant faced heavy criticism from political opponents. Shortly after the incident, allegations surfaced on social media that Minister of Education Hon. Jonel Powell was involved in the altercation but Powell swiftly dismissed the allegations in a statement on his Facebook page.
Recent comments on social media accused Powell of misleading the public for allegedly saying he was not at the Last Lap Bar but the statement on Powell’s Facebook stated that he was “not in the presence of the officers when the recorded incident occurred.”