Front Page
October 28, 2005
Leacock: PM Out of place

Senator St. Claire Leacock, the New Democratic Party Vice-President in an interview with SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday defiantly stated that he will not respond to questions that Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves directed at him in relation to some Tommy Hilfiger t-shirts donated to the SVG Football Federation by Hilfiger.

Leacock said he will dismiss the Prime Minister’s statements as “out of place”.{{more}}

On Monday, at a press conference held at Cabinet Room, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves issued a follow-up question to the five he had left as an assignment for the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) before he left on his trip to Ethiopia last week.

He is now asking Leacock to define what he means by “procure.”

Dr. Gonsalves was responding to Senator Leacock’s statement that he, Leacock had “procured” 72 of the t-shirts under question.

The Prime Minister said procured is a peculiar verb to use.

“What sort of obtuse language is that? The question still remains if he procured them did he pay for them? And present the receipt because this is a matter of fundamental principle,” Dr. Gonsalves emphasized.

Dr. Gonsalves said the receipt must be published with the date.

“Don’t come and give a receipt book back dating the date of the receipt…I’m not saying Senator Leacock would do that. I will never impute that about him…I believe when he said procure he meant that he paid for them because he is a man of honour,” said Dr. Gonsalves.

Dr. Gonsalves also wants Leacock to state if he had used or misused any of the t-shirts for political purposes.

Leacock on the “Letter from the Ground” program on Nice Radio last Saturday and again on Monday on the “New Times” radio program said he “procured the T-shirts.” The Senator, who is also the President of the SVG Football Federation explained that the Federation had been having difficulty selling the t-shirts and the Federation had been giving the t-shirts away to different organizations.

Stressing that he is at present storing over $40,000 worth of equipment at his home for the Football Federation free of charge, Leacock questioned the motives of the Prime Minister in raising the question, adding, “he is out of place, and the sooner we put him in his place, the better.”

The question about the t-shirts was the second of five that had been raised by the Prime Minister on Sunday, October 16, in Biabou. At the time he said “I have been advised by somebody else in the executive of the football federation that the t-shirts came and they put them up inside of a building and some of the t-shirts were used. What I want to ask Leacock is this. Were those t-shirts used exclusively for the purpose for which they were given by Tommy Hilfiger? I am not imputing wrong by the way, I am just giving you the facts and asking the question because people have asked me, people within the football federation have asked me to ask that question, and I am sure he will provide an answer,” the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister had also asked questions of Opposition Leader, Arnhim Eustace, former Ambassador and NDP candidate for West St. George, Kingsley Layne, NDP candidate for West Kingstown, Daniel Cummings and NDP candidate for South Windward, Lennox Daisley.