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Clinton vows to ‘hold CM to account’ after row over Bill delay

The GSD has accused Chief Minister Fabian Picardo of “contempt for Parliament” following an exchange over last week’s parliamentary debate on the Brexit withdrawal legislation.

During the debate, the GSD delayed the third and final stage of the legislation, a move which threatened to have a knock-on effect on two international pieces of legislation that the UK was going to extend to Gibraltar but which required prior approval of the Withdrawal Bill.

The GSD was entitled to delay the legislation under parliamentary rules and said it took the decision “in good faith” to better scrutinise the Bill, adding that it had been unaware of the urgency.

It also dismissed Mr Picardo’s claim in Parliament that the move to delay had been unprecedented, insisting the GSD itself had used it in the past.

This week Opposition MP Roy Clinton called on the Chief Minister to correct the record in Parliament.

But he received a stern response from the Chief Minister, who said the GSD was engaged in “pedantry” and time-wasting while he and his team were working hard on “getting Brexit right”.

Yesterday Mr Clinton, unconvinced, hit back at what he described as Mr Picardo’s “diatribe”.

“The Chief Minister evidently does not like to be corrected or held to account which is my job as an Opposition MP,” Mr Clinton said.

“Parliament is meant to be a check on the Executive and it is the role of Opposition to scrutinise and hold the Government to account, not be its cheerleader nor to rubber stamp its legislation blindly.”

“Brexit is a matter of deep concern to our community and the Government needs to allow proper debate in Parliament.”

“The personal comments and language the Chief Minister has directed at me only demonstrate his growing insecurity and pathetic immaturity.”

“The Chief Minister can rest assured that, when I am called to do so by the electorate, I am ready, willing and able to take on responsibility for the public affairs of Gibraltar.”

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