Govt slams Llamas’ over ‘childish publicity stunt’
Equality Minister, Samantha Sacramento, last night said that GSD MP Lawrence Llamas “publicity stunt” has “backfired” on him as she called for him to resign, stating that he “lacks the character to be in politics”.
This follows an incident in which Mr Llamas was turned away from a disability training seminar before being “humiliated” by Ms Sacramento.
Following the incident, Mr Llamas called for Ms Sacramento to resign.
But in a statement, Ms Sacramento said it is the Opposition Member who should consider resigning.
“He would then be able to indulge his hobbies without putting the taxpayer to the expense of funding his lifestyle,” she said.
And as the government hit back yesterday, it claimed the incident was “manufactured” by the GSD in order to distract attention from Mr Llamas’ “dog show shame”, adding this was a strategy that has failed.
This is “not serious politics”, the Government said, adding: “It is nothing but an attempt to distract attention from his dog-show fiasco at a point when Mr Llamas’ short political career is going down in flames.”
And it said Mr Llamas was ‘being hung out to dry’ by the Leader of the Opposition, Daniel Feetham.
“No good leader would have allowed Mr Llamas to be exposed to the kind of public ridicule that has resulted from his whingeing interview to GBC,” the government said.
“Furthermore, no responsible leader would have allowed Mr Llamas to make the rookie mistakes he made in moving the motion in Parliament on Monday that also exposed to him to ridicule in the face of the facts presented by Minister Costa.”
In relation to the events at the training seminar, the Government said Mr Llamas has been previously advised that his attendance of Government-sponsored training sessions in his capacity as an Opposition MP would be ‘inappropriate’.
It explained that the "Equality Means Business" seminars are bespoke training events that support the implementation of the ground-breaking Disability Act.
They are offered free of charge to business owners and professionals with the aim of making public events more accessible.
Mr Llamas is not a business owner and neither does he plan, organise or run public events.
“It would therefore be wrong to deny an industry professional a place in an oversubscribed training course solely to offer Mr Llamas the place instead.”
“These are learning environments, not opportunities to create a cheap publicity stunt.”
The Government added that by ignoring the Ministry’s previous advice in respect of his attendance and turning up to the training session on the assumption that he was somehow entitled to a space on the course Mr Llamas put public servants working at the entrance in a very uncomfortable position.
“It was immediately clear that Mr Llamas was there with the intention of deliberately causing a scene, purposefully escalating the situation by throwing a petty playground-style tantrum: hardly the manner in which the electorate should expect him to behave and earn his £35,000 Parliamentary salary.”
“Whilst the Minister’s comments may have seemed slightly harsh as she spoke to friends, Mr Llamas’ calls for her resignation as a result of his eavesdropping are ludicrous,” it added.
Ms Sacramento said: “What is clear is that this floundering GSD Opposition are hanging their least experienced member out to dry.”
“The leadership have failed to make any of their criticisms stick on public finances or health, and their dogged pursuit of attacking the Government by any means has now led them to attempt to poke holes in each action the Government takes.”
“This represents a distinct lack of leadership from the Opposition – Mr Llamas should never have been exposed in Parliament in the way that he has been over the most recent sessions with no backup from his colleagues on the Opposition benches.”
“Mr Llamas has clearly and shamefully neglected his duty to Parliament and to the taxpayer by being absent when he had business in the Chamber and choosing to attend a dog show instead.”
“Now he is exposed to ridicule by his own Party colleagues and his inexperience has led him to issue a ludicrous and whingeing public statement in order to massage his bruised ego.”
“Even his own staged publicity stunt has backfired on him.”
“Given his recent behaviour, it is Mr Llamas who should consider resigning. He would not be missed by anyone. He clearly doesn't have the character to be in politics.”
“He would then be able to indulge his hobbies without putting the taxpayer to the expense of funding his lifestyle.”
“I will ignore his bleeting and get on with doing the important work this community requires in respect of Equality and Housing, to which I am fully committed. I won't be further distracted by his whingeing.”