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Feetham and Clinton dropped from Govt guest list

Photo by David Parodyhttp://www.dotcom.gi/photos/

The Gibraltar Government will not invite the Leader of the Opposition, Daniel Feetham, or GSD MP Roy Clinton to any events provided at the taxpayers’ expense, No 6 Convent Place told the Chronicle yesterday.

This comes after both Mr Feetham and Mr Clinton returned the Gibraltar Music Festival VVIP tickets they had received from the Government citing that MP’s should purchase their own tickets for such an event.

Subsequently, both men were left off the list for Tuesday’s UNESCO World Heritage event. Mr Clinton is the GSD’s heritage spokesman.

When questioned by the Chronicle as to why, a Government spokesman said: “Mr Feetham and Mr Clinton have stated that they will not accept invitations where the event is provided at taxpayers’ expense.”

“The last invitations they received, they returned to Government.”

“For that reason, Mr Feetham and Mr Clinton, in keeping with the views they have expressed to Government, are no longer on the list for such events.”

Hitting back at the “shock move”, Mr Clinton put the ban down to the Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, and described it as “childish and politically pathetic”.

“I was surprised that, as shadow Minister for Heritage, I had not received an invitation to the UNESCO World Heritage event yesterday evening and I am today shocked to learn from the Chronicle that the Government has officially blacklisted me from all future Government events without informing me,” he said.

“The only invitation I have ever returned was in respect of two VVIP tickets which as I stated in Parliament  during my budget speech I would not accept as I considered MP’s should purchase their own tickets for an event that in 2015 cost the taxpayer an obscene amount of £2.25 million.”

“Irrespective of my position in Parliament, the Chief Minister insisted on subsequently sending me two VVIP tickets which I of course returned,” Mr Clinton said.

In an exchange of letters between Mr Picardo and Mr Clinton, seen by the Chronicle, Mr Picardo stated that he hoped the two politicians would be able to socialise at the GMF away from the parliamentary fray.

Mr Clinton responded by reiterating the position he had set out in Parliament but added: “This of course does not preclude us enjoying a sociable drink outside the parliamentary fray…and I am happy to buy the first round.”

Mr Clinton further told the Chronicle:  “The lack of courtesy shown by this Government to a fellow elected MP is nothing short of disgraceful and the Chief Minister’s actions in this matter can only be described as childish and politically pathetic.”