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Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has accused a local reporter of being ‘malicious’ after he was questioned about the involvement of his family-owned business, Coco Palm Hotel, and Prince Harry’s upcoming visit to Saint Lucia.
HTS News Force’s Rehani Isidore had asked Chastanet on Monday, if the hotel is directly involved in hosting the prince during his stay on the island. But the prime minister was visibly angered by that question.
He responded saying, “Have you made any phone calls. You are lying. And what did Coco Palm tell you. Coco Palm is not even opened for November. The Prime Minister’s Office has nothing to do with the royal visit, that is something that is done through the Governor General’s office…I would never ever cause my former company to be involved in that.” Chastanet told Isidore.
“I am embarrassed for you and I am ashamed for you as a journalist, because it is something so easy to clarify. And I think what you did in fact was malicious. Thank you very much,” the prime minister said before walking off.
In a press conference hours later following that interview, Chastanet said he would expect only stuff like that from the “Labour Party” but he did not expect that from a journalist.
The Prime Minister said that he will be open and honest with reporters and members of the public, with any question being a fair question. “But please, don’t disrespect me – don’t try to tarnish my reputation,” Chastanet said.
According to the prime minister, for someone to ask him a question or put up information to suggest that “the Prime Minister is using his position to influence Prince Harry to go and stay at his hotel is irresponsible.”
However, some members of the media are questioning whether the prime minister’s statement and so-called “attack” on the reporter was warranted, given that it was a simple clarification on an issue that involved the hotel that he was managing before he became prime minister of Saint Lucia.