Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has come in defense of ex-senator and former Minister in the Ministry of Agriculture Jimmy Henry who resigned from office on July 12, 2017.
Henry had cited personal reasons for stepping down in a prepared video statement sent to media on the day he resigned.
Chastanet in his first comment on the matter since being back from vacation, reassured reporters at a pre-cabinet briefing on August 7, that despite speculation, Henry’s resignation was not due to any looming criminal investigation.
“I had a very good conversation with Mr. Henry and unfortunately, you know, Mr. Henry explained to me for personal reasons and I had to respect those personal reasons. I mean it’s very sad that the timing [of the resignation] coincides with what everybody wants to speculate was a breach but, I mean, I think that the police have cleared that. The fact is that Mr. Henry has not done anything wrong. He’s not been charged with anything… Mr. Henry is not leaving because of any of those reasons. He had a personal reason, I accepted those personal reasons,” he said.
Chastanet took the opportunity to praise Henry for his work while in office.
“I thank him again for the work that he was doing. He was doing an amazing job in the Ministry of Physical Planning. I don’t think that there was a minister that would have complained about him,” the prime minister said.
One day before Henry’s resignation, both Minister for Home Affairs, Justice and National Security Hermangild Francis and Acting Commissioner of Police Milton Desir had denied any knowledge of and refuted allegations of a recent police investigation relating to the ex-senator.
The allegations had stemmed from a disclosure made by former government minister Richard Frederick on his live television talk show on July 6. Frederick had alleged that Henry was stopped by police at the George F.L. Charles Airport and questioned regarding his alleged possession of a significant sum of undisclosed cash.
However, Minister Francis, in an exclusive interview with HTS on July 11, denied knowing of any investigation regarding Henry and suggested that the allegation is political mischief.
Top cop, Desir, told HTS that he gave no order to investigate Senator Henry.
Reports are that the alleged investigation had involved Barbados law enforcement.