Former National Security Minister Hermangild Francis has taken his former Cabinet colleague Stephenson King to task in a commentary dubbed ‘Snakes in Parliament’.
“I have broken my silence to allow the populace to make an informed decision about the character of Stephenson King,” Francis wrote in the commentary on the opposition United Workers Party (UWP) Facebook page.
Shortly before July 26, 2021, general elections, Stephenson King announced that he would not go into the polls under the incumbent UWP but as an Independent Candidate.
The former UWP leader retained his Castries North seat, and after the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP), which was in opposition, won the elections by a landslide, King joined the labour Cabinet.
“For a man to remain in a government, receive his salary and perks and feel comfortable doing that. Steve’s action must never be allowed to reoccur, and if this government is serious about honesty and integrity, they should distance themselves from him,” Hermangild Francis stated.
Francis said he has no animosity towards Stephenson King.
But he said he was disappointed in King’s presentation to parliament.
“In his presentation, he distanced himself from the former government and said everything that he felt was going wrong. Steve attended several meetings of parliament. He never once voiced his concern about the government’s direction. He never complained about the disregard for the Constitution and the Standing Orders,” Francis noted.
“As a former colleague in the previous government, his statements have shown me that he only loves himself and is not concerned about how the other ministers who serve with him feel,” Francis stated.
“From the onset of our stint as a government, I quickly recognised that Steve was not interested in anything that the government was involved in. Cabinet meetings are scheduled for Mondays at 10.00 am, and as such, ministers should always leave that time open to be at Cabinet. That was not Steve’s attitude. Instead, his usual time of attendance was just around lunchtime,” the former Deputy Police Commissioner recalled.
“From early, I recognised that something was not right. I always voiced my concern, but I was never taken seriously,” Francis disclosed.