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Govt hits out on ‘ungenerous’ responses following Licudi resignation

Eyleen Gomez

The Gibraltar Government today blasted the “shortsighted and extraordinarily ungenerous” responses from the GSD and Together Gibraltar to the “honesty” of Gilbert Licudi's statement on his resignation from Ministerial Office.

The Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, said he was “disappointed” in his Parliamentary colleagues in the GSD and Together Gibraltar.

"They have jumped like undignified political hyenas to call for Mr Licudi to leave Parliament immediately in a very unedifying manner,” Mr Picardo said. 

"The GSD seem to have forgotten their own arguments on the 2006 Constitution, which provided for an increase in seats which did not have to equate to an increase in ministers beyond the eight which then ran Gibraltar.” 

“The GSD seem to have forgotten all the arguments they made for backbenchers to be introduced,” he added. 

“And the GSD also seem to have forgotten the arguments they made when Sir Peter Caruana QC resigned from the frontbench and stayed on as an Opposition backbencher.”

“In doing so, the GSD have shown themselves to have shifted their policy position once again. They have shown that they have no corporate memory and their ideology is in utter disarray.”

“They have once again shown they have no coherence whatsoever on their successive and shifting positions.” 

“A party like the GSD that stands for something one day and against the same thing the next is dangerous for Gibraltar and its people as they cannot be trusted not to be as unreliable also on key issues.”

"They could say one thing on relations with Spain today, and another tomorrow.”

In respect of Together Gibraltar, Mr Picardo said that with the party, and its leader Marlene Hassan Nahon in particular, the position is “even worse and is utterly politically hypocritical.”

“Ms Hassan Nahon resigned her Shadow Ministerial portfolios and from the GSD and yet kept her seat in Parliament despite calls from the GSD that she should stand for election as an independent if she wanted to keep the seat,” he said.

“Now Ms Hassan Nahon argues that Gilbert Licudi should do the opposite of what she actually did.”

"In fact, she forgets that we did not argue that she had to leave her seat because she had resigned her shadow ministerial positions - despite the pressure from the GSD on her to do so.”

Mr Picardo added that Ms Hassan Nahon has shown she is all about "’do as I say and not as I do’ on a key issue affecting democracy.”

He also said “the GSD and Together Gibraltar want to re-write the basic rules of democracy and the Constitution because they think it suits them today to do so.”

“That is a dangerous way to behave - wanting to change the rules just to suit their own party needs,” Mr Picardo said.

“It is ridiculous for the GSD and Together Gibraltar to make such shortsighted remarks without thinking about Gibraltar first.”

“With Brexit negotiations about to reach their peak and COVID-19 infections once again in the ascendance in our community, it is obvious to everyone who really cares about Gibraltar that we should not be looking to hold an election for one seat in Parliament.”

“The GSD and Together Gibraltar are - nonetheless - putting their own purported political advantage before the common interest of Gibraltar and its people at this sensitive time.”

“We will not let people forget that in coming years.”

“This partisan selfishness is a demonstration of a lack of commitment to our common good.”

“It's a demonstration of the fact that politicians in the GSD and Together Gibraltar do not really care about our people.”

“They obviously just care about how they can try to immediately exploit any situation for their own narrow partisan political advantage.”

Mr Picardo added the Government will continue to work hard for the people of Gibraltar on every issue as a committed, united and collegiate administration.

"We have a clear, long term plan for our nation's future and its people's well-being and prosperity,” he said.

“We won't pretend losing Gilbert has not been a blow, because we are honest in our politics but we know we will continue to count on his support, his experience and his friendship.”

 “And we will continue to lead Gibraltar to even greater successes, even as we face the challenges of the autumn months to come.”

“The people of Gibraltar know they can count on the GSLP/Liberal Government to deliver even in the hardest moments and in the teeth of criticism and adversity.”

“We have done so in the years since 2011 and we will continue to do so now.”

“That is why we have been able to deal with an aggressive PP in Spain, with Brexit and the attempts to exclude us from the Withdrawal Agreement, the Transitional Period we are benefiting from today, and the first wave of Covid-19.”

“We always put Gibraltar first,” he said. 

“That's how our leadership and success will be assessed by our people when the time comes, not based on speculation and summer tittle tattle, but on political commitment, policy consistency and positive results.”

“On that, we beat our political opponents every time."