THE Office of the Prime Minister has distanced itself from comments made by Director of Information and Communications, Dennis McComie, to members of the media.
A media release from the Office of the Prime Minister issued Saturday stated: “Mr McComie’s comments were unfortunate and regrettable, and are certainly not shared by the Office of the Prime Minister, or the Prime Minister and members of the Government.”
At last Thursday’s post-Cabinet press briefing, McComie invited members of the media to pose questions to Foreign Affairs Minister, Winston Dookeran and Health Minister, Dr Fuad Khan. In his comments, McComie stated that it was for the Ministers “to decide if they are not going to respond if you ask silly questions.” He went further to say if members of the media did not “behave” that, “we will stop giving you food.”
In distancing itself from McComie’s comments, the OPM also stated: “Members of the media serve a very important purpose in a democracy and must at all times be acknowledged and treated with the respect and dignity deserving of their profession.”
“The Office of the Prime Minister regrets that these offensive statements were made and apologises to members of the media. We hope that this issue can be put to rest and our traditionally warm relationship with Journalists will continue unaffected.”
He added, “I should further like to apologise to the Prime Minister and the members of Cabinet for monopolising time that could have been better used at the Post Cabinet News Briefing. I regret the incident and confirm that I meant no disrespect to anyone.
“With regard to the “no food” statement, it was done in jest while I interacted with media colleagues after the conclusion of the Post-Cabinet News Conference. I sincerely regret the incident. “
Office of the Prime Minister