Former Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia has urged his supporters to stay away from the party’s headquarters this evening while the PN’s executive council discusses a public spat he had with fellow MP Jason Azzopardi.
“To all those who have told me that they want to show their support to me through their presence tonight, I appeal to you to follow what is going on from the comfort of your homes,” Delia said in a Facebook post earlier today.
He added that he believed that there needed to be a “serious but honest and tranquil discussion”.
“I believe that those who really have the good of the party at heart will make wise choices. I believe that whoever is right is able to prove so through persuasion. I still believe the truth will ultimately emerge. I still believe that what is right will ultimately prevail,” he concluded.
The meeting of the executive council was called by party leader Bernard Grech following an online spat between the two MPs.
The PN has since banned its MPs and candidates from criticising and insulting each other in public in an attempt to present a united front ahead of the next general election.
This latest incident revolves around libel proceedings instituted by Azzopardi against Vincent Borg – also known as Ċensu l-Iswed – a PN activist known to be close to Delia, and who at one point during his leadership held the post of head of security.
Borg had alleged in the run-up to last summer’s PN leadership election that Azzopardi used to meet a prostitute at Portomaso. The claim was deemed libellous by the court in a judgment handed down earlier this week and which awarded Azzopardi €1,000 in damages.
Azzopardi was one of the most vociferous critics of Delia when he was still party leader, having pushed for his removal on a number of occasions.
After winning the case against Borg, Azzopardi uploaded a Facebook post saying that he would be donating the money to charity and that he had forgiven Borg, who he claimed had been “used, deceived and manipulated” into making the claims.
Delia however responded by “challenging” Azzopardi to publish the “700 messages [he said he has] against me”.
“Publish the 700 messages you said you have against me. Explain how you alone had access to Yorgen Fenech’s messages even though you’re not in the police force,” he said.
“Tell us whether you told the ‘independent’ media to publish your deceptions on the front page. Publish the proof to substantiate your claims that I’m in Yorgen Fenech’s pockets.”
This was a reference to WhatsApp messages that Fenech and Delia exchanged in 2019 and which were published by Times of Malta.
Delia also challenged Azzopardi to publish his tax returns, a reference to how the MP was late in declaring his income for two separate years, which he said was due to legal issues arising from his marital separation.
“In your efforts to unite the party, did you go after those (Ċensu l-Iswed) who gave and risked their lives for the party years before you were even born? You’re going to act the lawyer with Ċensu l-Iswed? Tell us who manipulated and deceived him. If you want, you can sue me, Hon. Azzopardi, so the truth will come out.”
What do you make of this latest spat between the two MPs?