Montegriffo confirms he will not stand in GSD leadership election
Peter Montegriffo, former GSD Minister and founder of the party, has confirmed he will not put his name forward as a candidate in the forthcoming GSD leadership election. In a letter to the Leader of the Opposition Roy Clinton which was made public yesterday, Mr Montegriffo says he remains “passionately involved in playing a part in helping Gibraltar’s continuing success” but it was not his intention to stand.
In the letter he says, “I do not, however, intend to put my name forward as a candidate in this leadership election. These are never easy decisions, especially for someone who has been close to politics over the years.”
There has been much speculation in the past week after a GBC poll indicated when the majority of voters said they would opt for Mr Montegriffo to lead the GSD. The poll ask who the public would like to see in opposition politics and leading the GSD.
In his letter Mr Montegriffo says he would support “whoever emerges as the party’s choice” and tells Mr Clinton that he believes there are likely to be other “very strong candidates, including yourself” who will offer the party a range of options.
Mr Montegriffo points out in his letter that “safely navigating our way following the Brexit vote remains a huge challenge”.
But that he has every confidence “we can and will prosper, but this is undoubtedly a critical time”.
It was last year when Mr Montegriffo suggested that he had been tempted to return to politics against the backdrop of the Brexit challenge.
Strongly believing the Opposition has a vital role to play at this time in our history, he tells Mr Clinton who in a separate statement yesterday acknowledging Mr Montegriffo’s letter.
“I know you share a total commitment to our community’s long term wellbeing and I wish you and your colleagues every good fortune in the time ahead. ”
In the letter he also thanked him “for having reached out to me and to others within the party. I am also very grateful for the friendship and support of those, especially GSD members, who have encouraged me to consider taking a step back into front line politics.”
Formally congratulating him on becoming the GSD leader and being appointed Leader of the Opposition, he writes: “I know both are positions you did not anticipate so early on in your political career. You bring many fine qualities to the discharge of these responsibilities. I have no doubt you will do very well indeed.”
Mr Montegriffo also added “a special word of thanks to Daniel Feetham”.
“He has served Gibraltar and the party diligently and with conviction. We should all be grateful to such individuals when they engage in the too often fraught experience of public life,” stated Mr Montegriffo.
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
In a GSD statement issued at the same time as the letter the Leader of the Opposition Roy Clinton says: “Peter has been very open with me and we have had the opportunity to discuss his potential candidature and other matters over the past few weeks. I have no doubt that Peter will continue to support the leadership of the party in its evolution in the years to come.”
Mr Clinton further acknowledges that Mr Montegriffo worked very hard and effectively behind the scenes to serve Gibraltar and its interests “albeit outside the bear pit of front line local politics, and I of course wish him well in his endeavours.”
The statement confirmed that the GSD executive would meet as planned in early September to set out the timetable and framework for Leadership elections in due course.