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Parliament row over GSD loan claim

Opposition Leader Daniel Feetham yesterday accused the Chief Minister of “slurring” the reputations of eight former GSD ministers by suggesting one of them had held an interest in a company that had defaulted on a loan received from a previous GSD administration.

During an exchange in Parliament, Mr Feetham said the inference was “completely and utterly spurious”.

As the two men exchanged barbs over the subject across the floor of Parliament, Fabian Picardo insisted he would issue a statement “in due course” along with all relevant information in respect of the matter.

Mr Picardo told Parliament earlier this month that the Government was investigating the default on a £48,000 loan granted in 2003 by the former GSD administration to a company in which a GSD minister “apparently” held an interest.

Mr Picardo, who did not name the minister, made the claim during a debate in which he replaced the entire text of a motion tabled by GSD MP Roy Clinton to debate the Principal Auditor’s annual report and propose the creation of a Public Accounts Committee in Parliament.

Yesterday’s exchanges arose from a question tabled by Mr Feetham requesting the Chief Minister to place before the House the information he had to substantiate the allegation.

Mr Picardo replied that the Government would make a further statement in due course and would provide all relevant information at its disposal in respect of this matter.

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