As the opposition Peoples National Movement accuses the governing United National Congress of a dirty tricks campaign involving former Express journalist Anika Gumbs, directed at Opposition Leader Keith Rowley, the UNC on Saturday moved swiftly to distance itself from involvement in the affair.
UNC campaign manager Rodney Charles denied that Gumbs' revelations were part of their "Say No to Rowley" campaign. Reporters Saturday cornered him at the construction site for the St Joseph Police Station on the Eastern Main Road.
"Let me emphatically say that has nothing to with our campaign" Charles said.
"I am a person of integrity. This campaign is about a choice between two leaders... one with a plan and one without a plan."
"If he has problems with Ms Gumbs let him take legal action or take it to the police. We will not become involved in that, it is below us and that is not something which we will ever think of doing."
Responding to a claim from the Rowley legal team that it had proof that people were being approached by the UNC to make statements against Rowley, Charles said it was an unproven allegation, and asked whether that was another Email-gate where the PNM presented uncorroborated information to parliament.
Meanwhile Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal called on the Media Association of T&T (MATT) to launch a full-scale investigation into allegations raised by the investigative journalist.
Moonilal described Gumbs' revelations as "shocking and grave."
He urged Matt to probe the complaint to determine if there was any misconduct on Rowley's part.
Journalists questioned him about the issue at an HDC keys distribution ceremony in Port-of-Spain.
"The Leader of Opposition may also be very eager to explain himself as well because he has admitted in the press this morning that it was his habit to invite reporters to his private residence to share stories or give information", Moonilal said.
"He may want to explain himself as to whether that is his modus operandi of entertaining and inviting reporters to his private residence, which I believe is a serious matter as well."