PM Says Journalist Asking Awkward Questions ‘To Sound Bright’


Prime Minister Gaston Browne has called out an Observer Radio journalist for asking awkward questions at government’s post cabinet news briefing.

“And I notice too that there is a particular journalist from your organisation who tries to ask awkward questions that really brings no value maybe to sound bright,” Browne told an interview on Observer Radio this morning.

He did not name Gemma Handy but identified her by one of the questions she asked.

“It is the content and not the little minute details, so for example; when the question was put to the CMO as to the nationality of all of the passengers; what turns on that?”

Handy asked a series of questions at the last post-cabinet news conference mainly direct at the Chief Medical Officer Dr. Rhonda Sealey Thomas.

Browne said Handy cannot stand in the shoes of the people she was questioning.

“But if it is that she is trying to distinguish herself as some form of superior intellect, the reality is that she cannot stand in the shoes of our health officials, people like Dr. Simon, Dr Rhonda Sealy Thomas, these are accomplished and very competent individuals.”

Meantime, the prime minister has dismissed as “utter nonsense” claims that covid-19 figures are being hidden from the public.

“And all our tests are being done by CARPHA as well so we cannot hide the number of positive cases that have been confirmed.”

He said however, that those managing the dashboard which is meant to update covid-19 information can do a better job.

“I can accept that the dashboard can be better managed. I absolutely agree that there is a gap there that needs to be plugged but that does not in anyway undermine the management of covid.”




  1. PM you are dead wrong. The journalists except Bufford and the one from your station were asking the right questions for which the goverment wanted to provide the wrong answers.

  2. Wow that’s very undemocratic and patronizing. Sounds like the PM feels threatened.
    She’s a credible and well respected journalist who, like all of them, have every right to ask questions to do their job properly. It’s not judging cos you can’t judge without answers, but people can and will judge when there aren’t any answers. Pathetic attempt at pulling someone down.

  3. When misleaders begin to target journalists and reporters just because they are doing their work well, then it is a sure sign of serious trouble. It has reached the turning point. The point at which media control is a hidden agenda. That is usually how dictatorship starts. This is what we see happening in the USA, presently.
    Reporters are the public’s voice to hold the “supposed to be” leaders of a country; to accountability.
    Journalists are to ask the hard questions….and question the responses given by public officials. It is the public officials’ responsibility to present the truth….and the hard fact is that ” Truth does hurt”.
    You cannot suppress truth all the time. It will come back and haunt you in a pretty insidious way.
    Our Misleaders must learn to tell the truth and then they would not be fearful of hearing it.
    They probably scream in their sleep at night replaying the truth in their heads.
    WAKE UP, foolish Antiguans


  4. Gaston, Gemma asked a series of pertinent questions and you chose to highlight what can appear to be the weakest one. Why didn’t you mention Molwyn responding to her question about why it was said no tests were pending with, “No one was showing signs” as if that is a sensible answer. How about the stuttering and inability of the panel to provide definitive answers? No, Gemma didn’t go to med school so she won’t be able to do the jobs of doctors on the panel but she’s doing her job well. In these times when we have seen the importance of everyone’s jobs, from cleaners, to supermarket workers AND MEDIA WORKERS, you take it on yourself to downplay her role. We are all playing a part for the betterment of society so how about you work on being a better leader?

  5. Based on their performance (or lack thereof) a new-born baby could easily fill the shoes of the health officials. It is unfortunate that, in stead of addressing the ineptitude in the Ministry of Health, the PM has chosen to attack a Journalist for exposing the shortcomings of the officials.

    Gemma, keep asking the tough questions that make them stutter and ask for translations

  6. Sounds like he trying to be a demi trump. Trump use Twitter he use Facebook, Trump abuse journalists, he try to belittle them. Anyway as they say jumby know who to frighten

  7. Imagine, the best you could get is Colin Brown? You steal Radio Personalities from Crusader Radio & if that wasn’t enough, you steal from Observer Media Group. It’s a pity ABS is soo so limited of talent, you can’t attract other loosers. You try everything & Serpent outshine you. You think money makes the clock tick, no. Serpent make you can’t sleep at nights, poor thing. You are by far, the laughing stock of the caribbean. All PM & heads of governments are having a real good time, laughing at you. What happen to the $50 ml you lied about securing from Venezula for LIAT? UPP left that Country with respect in the Caricom, now laughing jokes are on you. Bacause solely on your account, LIAT gone a gwassa. What next Gaston Clown? It took two months of Covid to run A&B on the rock. LEADERSHIP MATTERS Gaston Clown.

  8. Clearly ur not intelligent enough to know valid questions . U all so lie that simple question a baffle everyone of u.

  9. I believe more doctors need to report the number of their patients who have tested positive for the virus, independently, like Joey John. And they should do it without fear or favour. The truth has a way of coming out, even if it has to use journalists who ‘want to sound bright” or health officials, sitting on a panel, who are stuttering to answer questions asked in standard English.

  10. @AWG
    You sound like a UPP TROLL. You always against ABLP But one thing that I can assure you that you will be complaining for the next 30 years in OPPOSITION. Bunch of UPP Complainers. I heard Serpent said All Persons who support the ABLP On this medium are not living in Antigua. I LIVE in Antigua St. Georges ( POTTERS )

  11. I have listened to the questions asked by the lady.They were pertinent to what is happening in Antigua and Barbuda. It is just that you and your Members.Do not like to be asked the tough questions.You liked those soft balls questions asked by ABS.Keep asking the tough questions Gemma Handy. Gaston Browne does not like strong,independently minded thinking women of Antigua and Barbuda.Go back and check his history.

  12. One day the PM will realise he is to serve the people of Antigua and Barbuda NOT for his creative enrichment scheme as he told some of his ministers a while back. Both parties need to be put in their places and reminded they are in their positions to serve the country NOT themselves. Until then, our country will continue on a downhill slide into oblivion and more corruption.

    As one of the most expensive islands to live on and visit, the current govt can’t even support its people during this crisis. All the talk about the GDP is so good and all the funds received from the CIP yet as a they can’t help the citizens. It’s a shame, three smaller neighbouring islands could help their citizens even a month but not this govt.

    All those who voted to get bread crumbs, how is it working for you now? I’ll bet you would rather be eating anything other than the table scraps your politicians reward you under the table for your vote.

  13. Bashing a woman for doing her JOB is unacceptable, maybe the real fustration is with the MINISTERS WHO COULDN’T ANSWER OR REFUSE TO ANSWER

  14. Up until last week, I thoughts the questions the journalists were asking were rather superficial. Gemma asked the questions that most people wanted answers to. That’s the role of good journalist. To me, Gaston’s attack on her exposes his weakness and insecurity. A real man does not attack women. Everybody has a bad day and that press briefing panel was completely unprepared and came across as a set of bumbling idiots. Let’s hope they have learned from that and come prepared with the truth and factual information this week, if they decide to show up. Gemma, please do not let Gaston silence you. We are waiting for your questions this week.

  15. How low can he go? The press conference caught the Gov’t in a shambles and made then look really bad.

    • No Gaston thinks he is the brightest star in the inverse. Not even his ministers are allowed to shine. We the bright Antiguans and the ones who sound bright are fed up with you.

  16. There we go again. First the police and now the media. God help us. Or maybe psychiatrist help you GB.

  17. What’s the point of getting an education if one is castigated for displaying the level of education received? Are we that shallow in this country?

  18. It is amazing how Antiguans are supporting this NON ANTIGUA Journalist for displaying ARROGANCE. We can expect anything from UPP Supporters.

  19. Statistics data especially in health are collected by race, nationality, height, age, date and place of birth, etc, so I don’t think nothing wrong with the question ask by the journalist. Once you filled out a medical form, your nationality has been ask on that form.

  20. Observer Media Group is a thorn in Gaston Browne side. The same media house he had depended on heavily to help ABLP won the 2014 election. He is going to need Observer again for the next election because this coming up election is going to be different than all the rest. A breed of young people coming to the plate to vote. Bribery not going to help with these batch of voters.

  21. It was true, Gemma asked the question that majority of the public need an answer to. We need to know who are coming in and out of our country especially during this COVID 19 period.

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