MINISTER in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young slammed Naparima MP Rodney Charles’ “apology” to acting Commissioner of Police (CoP) Stephen Williams.
In his contribution to debate on Friday on a motion to approve Williams’ nomination as CoP, Charles said the United National Congress (UNC) “apologises profusely” to Williams for the People’s National Movement (PNM) never appointing him CoP. He added, “I apologise to all who will come through this charade.”
In response, Young reminded MPs that the UNC-led People’s Partnership coalition had a constitutional majority and the opportunity to confirm Williams as CoP. That opportunity, Young continued, came and went when Canadians Dwayne Gibbs and Jack Ewatski were fired as CoP and Deputy Police Commissioner respectively in 2012.
He recalled then attorney general Anand Ramlogan said it was better to have Williams on contract than permanently appointed because, “then you will act better.”
Looking at UNC MPs, Young declared, “They want the people to forget what they did.” He supported the Prime Minister’s assurance that “as a Cabinet, we will ensure, in accordance with the law, that Mr Stephen Williams is given his due, his worth.” He said contrary to Charles’ claims, the PNM moved immediately upon assuming office in September 2015 “to try and reform the process, simplify and get us to the point we are in today.”
With Williams going in pre-retirement leave in September, Young said, “It makes no sense if you’re looking for leadership in the Police Service to put someone in a permanent position and they disappear on us in a few weeks time.”