Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has said that although he had reservations about the awarding of a Grenadian Knighthood to Sir Anthony Bailey, he takes full responsibility for the controversial appointment.
The Knighthood granted to Bailey by Governor General, Dame Cecile La Grenade was revoked by Grenada in August, after a scandal arose in Britain concerning Anthony Bailey and Baroness Patricia Scotland.
During a recent post-Cabinet Press Briefing hosted by Minister of Health and International Business, Nickolas Steele, he announced that a committee comprised of legal representatives made the recommendation for the granting of the knighthood.
Steele along with Minister of State with responsibility for Education, Senator Simon Stiell have shied away from giving the names of the members of the committee that met and approved the Knighthood for Bailey.
Prime Minister Mitchell who facilitated a media conference last Wednesday at the Ministry of Works conference room at the Ministerial Complex did not make any reference to any committee meeting to consider the award to Bailey.
He said that Baroness Scotland and Sir Anthony had requested a meeting with him in his office.
“I know Patricia Scotland – I know about her. So we give them (an) appointment and one of the problems that the Prime Minister has is when people walk into their office, sometime the first thing that they want is a picture. Could you imagine the former Attorney General comes in and ask for a picture and I say no I am not taking a picture with you…you are in a difficult spot.
“…They had an appointment with the Governor General. They then claimed that they have this Constantanian Order and they give medals and blah blah blah blah, all kind of things were named. To tell you the truth, I had my reservations but I did not put that down as a final thing but I had my concerns.
“The fact is the government that I am leading did agree to it based on what we thought was in the country’s best interest. The minute we found out there was some issues it was cancelled, so I am not going to duck responsibility and put that on anybody. I take full responsibility for it, it’s a mistake and should not have been done.
Prime Minister Mitchell stunned reporters when he disclosed that Bailey had even requested to be made Ambassador to the Vatican.
“No way”, the Prime Minister said was his response to the request.
According to Dr. Mitchell, he has had no affiliation or friendship with either Baroness Scotland or Bailey although this is the perception of many persons.
He spoke of not supporting Baroness Scotland in her bid to land the prestigious post of Secretary General of the Commonwealth.
“Baroness Scotland did everything to get Grenada’s support to be Secretary General. I am on papers with her and Bailey but she knew that Grenada agreed not to vote for her…I was open out there supporting the Antigua representative (Sir Ronald Sanders).
“ In fact, when she won at the Heads of government meeting and she got the support of all the European countries…we in the Caribbean, most of us did not(support her)…when she finally won on the second ballot, she was so nice to me before, she passed me like a license but yet when something happened I’m in front page with her as me and she and Bailey (are) some close friends…” he said.
The Prime Minister confirmed that Bailey’s appointment was officially revoked and he was formerly written to inform him of the decision.