Farley dares Duke to file no-confidence motion

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Farley dares Duke to file no-confidence motion

The rift between Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly Farley Augustine and Deputy Chief Secretary Watson Duke is growing even larger.

Augustine has now challenged Duke to bring a motion of no confidence against him.

Speaking during an interview yesterday, Augustine explained that the THA resumes on September 22, so there are two days before a motion has to be entered for debate.

However Augustine says if the motion fails, there is to be the ultimate consequence for Duke as he will demand his removal immediately.

The disagreement started last week when Duke posted a video to social media from New York, condemning the THA executive for not helping 27 members of the Roxborough Folk Group, led by former minister Vernella Alleyne-Toppin, who were stranded there.

During a post-Executive Council media briefing soon after the video circulated, Augustine said he would be reviewing Duke’s portfolio.

One day later, Duke removed Augustine, Dr Faith B Yisrael and Alicia Roberts-Patterson as deputy leaders of the Progressive Democratic Patriots.

Yesterday Augustine explained that the group asked for over $700,000 for a trip to the Tri-State (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut) area in the United States to carry out performances.

He said THA agreed to the airfare which amounted to $300, 000 however they received a call some time later saying the group had nowhere to stay.

Augustine said it was then arrangements were made for someone to pay a hotel bill which the THA was to reimburse. This cost was US$9,000.

The Chief Secretary said a day later, he received a video from Duke saying the group also needed food and if money was not sent, the video would be posted online. He said this was done later that night although efforts were being made through executive members and Tobagonians living in New York to help.