Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, has called on members of the local media not to disrespect him following an exchange on Monday with HTS Television Journalist, Rehani Isidore.
HTS during its evening news last night, reported that Isidore had pressed Chastanet on his frequent travels and a marketing promotion by a local resort ahead of a visit here by Britain’s Prince Harry.
The Prime Minister appeared to become testy in his response to the question regarding the Royal visit, accusing the Journalist in the presence of other members of the media of lying.
Chastanet eventually walked off, ignoring further questions.
At a news conference a few hours later, the Prime Minister said Journalists have a responsibility to be able to “vet” questions and ask for relevant information.
“What was being brought out was a situation that had absolutely nothing to do with me. The Prince’s visit to Saint Lucia is being managed by the Governor General’s Office. My office only gets the information,” Chastanet declared.
“The Prince is not staying at any hotel. The Prince is staying on his boat. That information was made public. I have nothing to do with the day to day operations of my hotel and the point I was making this morning – I am very proud of the fact and I intend to protect that, I was Minister of Tourism for five years and nobody can make an allegation that I ever used my office to support my hotel,” the former Tourism Minister said.
“My sister is running the hotel. She ran a press release. My office contacted her and said we would like her to retract that letter because we thought it was confusing. She did so and it was cleared.”
According to Chastanet, for someone to ask him a question or put up information to suggest that the Prime Minister is using his position to influence Prince Harry to go and stay at his hotel is irresponsible.
“I expect only stuff like that from the labour party but I don’t expect that from Journalists,” he told last evening’s news conference.
The Prime Minister said that he will be open and honest with Journalists and members of the public, with any question being a fair question.
“But please, don’t disrespect me – don’t try to tarnish my reputation,” Chastanet said, adding that he takes that issue very seriously.