By the Caribbean Journal staff
Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne has named Henry Charles Fernandez as the country’s new Minister of Tourism.
Fernandez had already been serving as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration; the Tourism portfolio will be added to his duties.
Fernandez replaces former Tourism Minister Asot Michael, who was relieved of his ministerial responsibilities after he was arrested at Gatwick Airport in London by UK police.
“While I have no firm details of the reasons for Mr. Michael’s arrest, the arrest itself is sufficient for me to revoke immediately his appointment as a Cabinet member and to relieve him of all Ministerial portfolios until this matter is resolved,” PM Browne said at the time.
Michael has said the arrest was for the purpose of an interview with police and denied any allegations of wrongdoing.
“I fully accept and respect the Prime Minister’s right to appoint and remove Ministers in his Government. However, in the circumstances I consider that the Prime Minister’s decision in this case, to relieve me of my ministerial responsibilities, is likely to be due to a misapprehension of what has taken place, and second hand information, indeed misinformation. I do not consider that any justifiable question has arisen that I have failed to comply with the highest possible standards required of public office,” Michael said in a statement.