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Contador Luis Oberto Anselmi||//
Camille: Smith stays as MP

Planning and Development Minister and Leader of Government Business Camille Robinson-Regis says sacked Sport Minister Darryl Smith should not resign from his position as MP for Diego Martin Central.

But she urged that Government implement a sexual harassment policy in workplaces including Government offices.

Robinson-Regis was fielding questions from members of the media following the Innovation Awards Ceremony for Skills for Global Services, which was held at the Arthur Lok Jack Global School for Business, Mt Hope yesterday.

On Monday, as part of a Cabinet reshuffle which announced a number of reassignments, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley appointed himself Minister of Housing and Urban Development and named Smith his junior minister.

But Rowley on Tuesday advised President Paula-Mae Weekes to revoke Smith?s appointment, in light of ?new information? which came to his attention during a meeting between Rowley, Robinson-Regis and Smith.

A statement from the Office of the Prime Minister on Tuesday said that a committee has now been appointed to thoroughly review the circumstances surrounding the dismissal and a

$150,000 payout to Carrie-Ann Moreau at the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, where Smith was the Minister.

But Robinson-Regis said the allegations surrounding Smith were just that?allegations hence there was no need for his resignation

Asked what was this new information the PM got, Robinson-Regis pointedly said, ?You expect me to answer that. I?m not answering that.?

On why a meeting was not held with Smith before the reshuffle, she said the PM is the one who heads the Cabinet and ?reshuffles people.?

Robinson-Regis said she, therefore, could not answer that question.

On whether there are reports of allegations of sexual misconduct involving Smith and other women Robinson-Regis said she was unaware of this.

Robinson-Regis, who is also head of the PNM?s Women League, said she stands by the statement issued by the League.

?I stick by what is being said. I support the PM in what he has had to do and in addition to that we are calling on the Government to expedite the implementation of a Sexual Harassment Policy in the Government and a national policy on sexual harassment.

?We have said that in our press release.

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We have also said that at the next meeting of the general council we will bring some proposals to the party to lead that discussion,? Robinson-Regis said.

Last week Robinson-Regis, when contacted about the matter by a daily newspaper, had described the issue as a ?non-story.? She also described the media?s pursuit of the issue was ?an agenda.?

Asked again about these comments Robinson-Regis said, ?That was not the League?s response, it was my response.

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That was before everything. It was the first blush at looking at what the media had put in as a story…that was my response to that story.

?It seemed to be an agenda set by the media,? Robinson-Regis said.


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