Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar last night added hers to the growing list of voices condemning parts of the statement by Tobago MP Vernella Alleyne-Toppin during the vote of no confidence against Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley on Wednesday.
However, saying she had accepted Alleyne-Toppin's apology on the matter, Persad-Bissessar said no action would be taken against her, despite the continuing calls for her removal.
Alleyne-Toppin incensed certain segments of society when she announced during her contribution that Rowley was a product of a rape and that he too allegedly fathered a child by the same means. Saying this was the reason for his aggressive nature, she questioned whether he was worthy of holding the office of prime minister.
The statement brought condemnation from several segments of society, including victims of rape, and even prompted the start of an online petition calling for her removal.
Those calls increased yesterday after Roselyn Alleyne, the mother of Rowley's son, Garth, denied the allegations and said she had been offered $25,000 by a UNC supporter to claim she was raped by Rowley when she was younger.
Speaking following an event honouring Hazel Brown at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain, last night, the PM agreed that certain parts of Alleyne-Toppin's statement were indeed offensive.
"I would like to add my voice to the voices of concern and condemnation for parts of the statement by the Hounourable Minister Vernella Alleyne-Toppin. I have expressed this to her directly, the minister has apologised and I have accepted her apology," the PM said.
Asked if Alleyne-Toppin would face any sanction, given that Alleyne has denied the allegation, the PM again said while she had an issue with some of the statement, she had accepted Alleyne-Toppin's apology.
Asked if the motion against Rowley had backfired, she said, "No, it did not backfire because we have the adjourned date to continue the motion."
She added that when Alleyne-Toppin made the statement she was not in the chamber.
Told about Alleyne's claim of being offered a bribe by a UNC activist to sign an affidavit claiming she had been raped by Rowley, the PM said, "I don't know of which you speak."
She said while the issue may have been raised on news casts last night, she was unable to see it because she was intransit to the venue at the time.