Prime Minister Gaston Browne says media reports pointing to wastage by Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland is an embarrassment for the Caribbean.
The SUN newspaper in the UK is reporting that officials in India have hinted they could pull their Commonwealth funding after information on Scotland’s spending was leaked to the media.
She reportedly approved a £450,000 makeover of her grace-and-favour Mayfair flat. Among the alleged expenses £4,020 on a mirrored cupboard and £4,000 pounds on new curtains. £5,000 was reportedly spent on a vanity and £2,000 on bathroom tiles.
In an e-mail, Browne said Instead of bringing benefits to the Caribbean, she brought shame.
He said the election of a real Caribbeaner of great competence and experience was missed because of insularity, a culture of non-cooperation and hate of our own.
The Prime Minister blamed regional individuals he referred to as shortsighted opposition leaders and others within Caricom for supporting Scotland, a Brit by dominant nationality.
The Sun reports that, last week, Baroness Scotland was forced to “lobby member states” to “expedite” payment of membership fees to fill a massive financial black hole.
An emergency meeting at the Commonwealth Secretariat — funded by grants from all member states — was reportedly called to discuss money troubles.
We will continue to try to reach Patricia Scotland for her side of that story and to respond to Prime Minister Gaston Browne.