Parliamentary Secretary for Youth and Sports, Senator Sheldon Scott has denied that Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has put him on notice that he intends to replace him as a member of the Upper House in Parliament.
THE NEW TODAY newspaper contacted Sen. Scott on Monday morning and he refuted reports being circulated in the country that the Grenadian leader told him at a recent meeting that his days are numbered as a member of the Senate.
The Number two man in the Ministry of Sports also brushed aside reports circulating that PM Mitchell informed him that he was getting negative reports about his (the Senator’s) failure to make regular rent payments to his landlord.
“Not true”, was the response of the member of the Upper House who played a critical role in the media for the governing New National Party (NNP) when in opposition during the 2008-13 rule of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) of then Prime Minister Tillman Thomas.
Sen. Scott also dismissed reports that PM Mitchell raised concerns with him at the meeting about reports he was receiving that the Lower House member was defaulting on payments of the loan he had secured to purchase a vehicle since becoming a member of the government.
“That is not true. That is easily verifiable”, he told this newspaper.
When asked if there was a meeting with the Prime Minister to discuss the issues raised by THE NEW TODAY, Sen Scott said, “The Prime Minister will always meet with him from time to time”.
According to high level party sources, the PM Mitchell/Scott meeting took place early last week Monday morning on the 6th Floor at the Ministerial Complex at the Botanical Gardens.
One official who asked not to be identified said he understood that the Prime Minister stressed that “the party would look after Sen. Scott when his appointment is revoked”.
Speculation is rife that this is a clear indication that the Junior Minister in the Youth and Sports ministry might be given a salaried position by the party to continue with his daily radio programmes aimed at promoting the NNP in the build up to the election.
The source said that PM Mitchell is believed to have raised on two previous occasions his concerns with Sen. Scott about his personal activities.
He spoke of top party officials getting the feeling that Prime Minister Mitchell is starting to take steps to prepare the party for the next general election and Sen. Scott will become the first casualty from the Senate.
He predicted that the person to be selected as the likely replacement for Sen. Scott would be considered as a potential candidate in the next national poll.
THE NEW TODAY understands that the name of someone involved in the Youth movement from St. Patrick is being considered as a front-runner for a Senatorial appointment.
Party sources have said that the Prime Minister met recently with the Member of Parliament for St. Patrick East, Clifton Paul and informed him that he can expect other persons to challenge him for the seat in the build-up to the next general elections.
“I heard he called in Paul and told him that the NNP was a democratic party and will soon be looking to identify the candidate for the constituency. Poor Paul, he was told that his name will also be put in the list of candidates. I take this to mean that he (PM Mitchell) no longer has use for the man and he (Paul) will be out as the candidate next time around”, he remarked.
Party insiders have expressed fears about the future of several other MP’s such as Tobias Clement (St. George North-east), Alvin Da Breo (St. John), Anthony Boatswain (St. Patrick West), as well as Alexandra Otway-Noel (St. George South) and Nicholas Steele (Town of St. George).
Newly appointed Assistant-General Secretary of the ruling party, Sen. Peter David who once served Congress as its chief party organiser has been going around the country and helping to put the NNP on a sound footing for the upcoming national poll.
Sen. David is said to be very optimistic based on the feedback on the ground about another clean 15-0 victory at the polls against Congress.
The former Minister of Foreign Affairs in the NDC administration has already announced that he will be a candidate in the next poll.
Sen David’s name is being bandied about in St. George North-east but his close aides prefer to see him contest the Town of St. George which he won in 2003 and 2008 on the Congress platform.