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Govt denies ‘blacklisting’ Feetham and Clinton

The Gibraltar Government has rejected an accusation that it ‘blacklisted’ Opposition MP Roy Clinton, insisting the GSD politician had ‘requested’ to be removed from the guest list for official events.

The Chronicle revealed yesterday that Mr Clinton, the shadow Minister for Heritage, had not been invited to the inauguration of Gorham’s cave complex UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Not only that, the government said neither he nor Opposition leader Daniel Feetham would be invited to publicly-funded functions.

The government said the reason for this was that Mr Clinton had indicated he would not accept tickets for events paid for by the taxpayer.

“His name was therefore removed from the official invitation list,” No 6 Convent Place said in a statement.

“There was no need to inform him of an action that he himself had requested.”

“If Mr Clinton now wishes to reverse that decision in order for him to receive invitations to future official receptions, it is perfectly reasonable to have his name returned to that same list.”

Mr Clinton and Mr Feetham returned the VVIP tickets after raising questions about the £2.25m cost to the taxpayer of the GMF in 2015 and arguing that MPs should pay for their tickets to the event.

Mr Clinton had described the government’s decision to extrapolate that position to all publicly-funded events as “pathetic and childish”.

But the government hit back: “It may be that Mr Clinton wishes to be invited to some events, such as the UNESCO World Heritage Site event, but not to others, such as the GMF.”

“But how are we to know which invites he wants and which he doesn’t?”

Chief Minister Fabian Picardo added: “We took Mr Clinton’s name off the list at what was clearly his request and he has now realised how foolish he has made himself look by his sanctimonious statements on the GMF.”

“However, if he is so keen to be invited to government receptions, he can come back on our list and be entertained again at the taxpayers’ expense.”

“Incredibly, his reaction to having been left off a list for a reception has been more vivacious, intemperate and heartfelt than anything else he has said in the ten months he has been in politics.”

“It's quite something that the only passion we have seen from him relates to access to official entertainment.”

“Assuming he does wish his name to be returned to the invitation list, I look forward to seeing him at future events in the three years that are left of the life of this Parliament.” “In that period of time I am certain that there will be many more examples of the Opposition’s political hypocrisy.”