Manning dismisses Tancoo’s call for apology

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Brian Manning –

MINISTER in the Ministry of Finance Brian Manning has dismissed a call from Oropouche West MP Dave Tancoo for him to apologise for not standing still while the national anthem was played at the opening of an event held by the ministry last wekk.

This was the Spotlight on the Economy at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Port of Spain on September 2.

Tancoo made the call during a news conference on Sunday.

In response, Manning said Tancoo’s call was misdirected and he was unaware of the facts of what what he was talking about.

“I was forced to move during the playing of the national anthem at the spotlight event due to an emergency situation that was happening behind the scenes.”

Manning was the MC at the event. which was addressed by the Prime Minister and Finance Minister Colm Imbert

“As you can imagine, producing such a complex event in front of a live audience was no easy task,” Manning said. “Unfortunately, an issue occurred during the playing of the national anthem which had to be resolved immediately.

“This situation required that I, as moderator of the event, move from the onstage podium to speak with the backstage manager, who had been vigorously trying to get my attention.”

He added that the problem was resolved “and the successful event went on as planned and received rave reviews.”

Manning did not give details of the matter that required his intervention. He slammed Tancoo for trying to create an issue where none existed.

“I had hoped that MP Tancoo would have learned something from the event so we all won’t be burdened with his now trademark uninformed and lacking-in-substance contributions during the new parliamentary term.”

Parliament opens at the Red House, Port of Spain on Friday at 1.30 pm

Manning opined, “Perhaps I was being too optimistic.”

He also wondered how busy Tancoo is as an MP.

“He should spend more time working in his constituency so he won’t have free time to create an issue where there isn’t one.”

He claimed Tancoo’s constituents “continue to complain that he takes them for granted and they never see him.”

Manning, who is also San Fernando East MP, said this was “why I see so many of them during my regular (constituency) office hours in San Fernando East.”