Antigua and Barbuda prime minister Gaston Browne has fired his tourism and investment minister Asot Michael.
The development came on the heels of Michael’s arrest by Metropolitan Police in London today.
Browne, who was returning home from Montenegro where he led a government delegation to an international conference on Citizenship by Investment, said he received news of Michael’s detention from Antigua and Barbuda’s high commissioner in London Karen-Mae Hill.
In a statement, Browne said he was obligated to take the action but admitted that he did not have any details about why Michael was detained by police.
“While I have no firm details of the reasons for Mr Michael’s arrest, the arrest itself is sufficient for me to revoke immediately his appointment as a Cabinet member and to relieve him of all ministerial portfolios until this matter is resolved.
The prime minister declared: “I have repeatedly stated that I expect every member of my government to comply with the highest possible standards required of public office, and while Mr Michael might establish his innocence in time, the fact that he has been arrested, obliges me to relieve him of all government duties”.
“I undertake to release other information regarding Mr Michael’s arrest as it is brought to my attention,” Browne said.