Canepa and Clinton clash over ‘innocuous’ Chronicle interview
The Speaker of Parliament, Adolfo Canepa, yesterday lambasted GSD Deputy Leader Roy Clinton for making “unfair and impolite criticism” of the clerk, staff and himself in an interview with the Chronicle.
But the Speaker’s comments drew immediate flak from the Leader of the Opposition, Daniel Feetham, who told reporters that parliamentary staff had not told the GSD they were offended by the comments.
“Neither could anyone have reasonably construed the comments as offensive,” Mr Feetham told the Chronicle after the session.
“They are completely innocuous.”
The spat follows an interview given by Mr Clinton to the Chronicle reflecting on his first year as an MP and his appointment as Deputy Leader of the GSD.
Mr Clinton told this newspaper: “There is no manual that you get given or even an induction course into Parliament – you get shown your seat and you get shown your microphone, but that’s about it.”
During a short session of Parliament yesterday, Mr Canepa complained about the comments.
“While it is true there is no induction course as such for newly elected members, it is not the case that the only guidance and assistance the new cohort of members who were elected in November 2015 received was just as described by the honourable member,” he said.
Mr Canepa said he would therefore “set the record straight” and outlined how he, the clerk and Parliament staff had held a number of meetings with those newly elected members to discuss procedures as well as other matters.
He added that in the absence of any clarification from Mr Clinton since the remarks were published he felt “compelled” to draw attention to what he considers to be “unfair, impolite criticism of the clerk of parliament, the staff and myself”.
In response Mr Clinton said it was regrettable that he and the Speaker “could not see eye to eye” on the matter and that Mr Canepa had made the statement.
“I stand by what I said in the Chronicle article and it is regrettable that you see it fit to make the statement you have,” he added.
Following the session, Mr Clinton told the Chronicle that he had not been given any advance notice of the Speaker’s statement.
He explained that he had met with Mr Canepa on Friday morning and although they could not come to an agreement as to their points of view, the Speaker did not advise him he would be making a statement to Parliament.
During the session, Mr Canepa noted that the GSD Deputy Leader “remains intransigent”, adding “so be it”.
But he flagged “aspects he needs to understand”, those being “respect for the Speaker, respect for the institution that is Parliament and the people who work here for him and all the other members”.