The Keith Mitchell-led government in St. George’s has not given a new contract to former Congress minister, Karl Hood to serve as High Commissioner to London.
The government has announced that former Island Scholar and Calypso Monarch, Akima Paul-Lambert has been appointed to represent Grenada in the Court of St. James in the United Kingdom and to the Vatican.
The disclosure was made at last week’s post-Cabinet Press Briefing at the Ministerial Complex by Minister of Health and International Business, Nickolas Steele.
The removal of Hood has not come as a surprise since there have been constant reports of tension between him and Mitchell’s ruling New National Party (NNP) government in recent years.
Hood is credited with “discovering” the controversial Chinese businessman, Charles Liu who was appointed as Commercial Attache to the Grenada Embassy office in Beijing and identified as the main promoter of the US$2 billion tourism and health project at Mt. Hartman.
The embattled Liu is currently locked in a battle with the Security Exchange Commission (SEC) in the United States after he was charged by the agency with a multi-million dollar fraud in connection with a cancer treatment project in California.
Well-placed sources told THE NEW TODAY newspaper that Hood was transferred as Ambassador to China to High Commissioner to London following complaints made against him to the authorities in St. George’s.
A former Minister of Health in the 2008-13 Congress government of Tillman Thomas, Hood who was then the elected Member of Parliament for St. George South-east resigned from the administration and joined the NNP platform.
He soon landed an Ambassadorial position and his brother, Cajeton Hood got the prestigious position of Attorney-General in the newly formed Mitchell-led government.
Speculation is rife that AG Hood’s contract is due to end this month but there has been no indication from government whether it would be extended.
The former High Commissioner has been spotted in Grenada in recent weeks driving a high end vehicle.
He is believed to be staying somewhere in the St. John’s area.
According to Minister Steele, the appointment of Lambert-Paul, an attorney-at-law as the new High Commissioner to London, will not cost the taxpayers as she will be taking up her positions with no charge to the State.
“Mrs. Akima Paul will take up duties representing Grenada to the Court of St. James in the United Kingdom as well as non-resident Ambassador to the Holy Sea or to the Vatican. Miss Akima Paul is doing this on her own expense and therefore as a patriotic Grenadian, we would like to thank her, congratulate her and voice our appreciation for her stepping forward and assisting us and her country,” said Minister Steele.
“We have agreed in Cabinet to appoint her. We will have to wait for what we refer to as agreement from the Court of St. James as well as from the Holy Sea or the Vatican, however long their process takes for approval.
Minister Steele disclosed that the High Commissioner-designate will serve in the position for two years in the first instance.