Secretary to the Cabinet Konata Lee has issued a statement in which he questions the journalist motives of the Observer Media Group.
This is the third such statement in the last 24 hours questioning the ethical conduct of the opposition-friendly media house.
Yesterday, both Prime Minister Gaston Browne and the Citizenship by Investment Unit slammed Observer for its fake news and misinformation respectively.
In a rare showing of public outrage, Lee says the Observer’s decision to publish a Government issued document addressed to a private recipient (i.e. not intended for public consumption or use for biased publishing) in the manner that it did, “draws some deserved scrutiny toward its motives.”
“It further underscores, in this instance, the Observer’s lack of journalistic balance by its failure to ascertain whether, in fact, the concessions granted by Cabinet breached any threshold.”
The Cabinet Secretary was responding to attempts by the media group to convey a conflict of interest in the Cabinet’s decision to grant concessions “that are ordinary in nature” to Gaston Browne III, son of Prime Minister Gaston Browne.
Lee is also peeved that the letter granting the concessions was published by the media house even though “no effort was made by the Observer Newspaper to confirm whether the concessions granted were unusual or extraordinary in any way, which they were not.”
He confirms that Prime Minister Browne was not present for cabinet when the concessions were granted and added that it is the normal practice for a member to recuse him/herself once a potential conflict of interest may arise.
“The Cabinet Secretariat maintains there was no breach or unfair advantage created by its decision.”