Nationalist Party leader Bernard Grech has insisted that a feud between two of his MPs has been resolved while warning that he would not tolerate any similar incidents going forward.
Grech was giving comments to journalists who had congregated outside the party’s headquarters in Pieta in anticipation of an executive committee meeting called by Grech himself to discuss and take action on, a public spat between former leader Adrian Delia and MP Jason Azzopardi.
The meeting was however cancelled since Azzopardi and Delia had “resolved” their differences.
“I was, am and will continue to be determined to strengthen the PN and I am prepared to take whatever decisions need to be taken and to be tough with anyone I need to be tough with,” Grech said.
He said the meeting had been cancelled because there was no need for it after the matter had been resolved.
Asked what action he would take should a similar incident happen again, Grech said he would have no problem expelling those that needed to be expelled from the party.
“The time for posting on Facebook is over. This is a serious party with serious candidates. We must move forward,” he said.
News that the meeting had been cancelled arrived as journalists and members of the committee started to arrived at the party’s headquarters with both Delia and Azzopardi already inside.
This was followed by a joint statement by the two MPs declaring that the two had settled their differences and pledged to work together for the good of the party.
Both Azzopardi and Delia did not comment as they left the headquarters, but both denied that they had been forced into issuing the statement.
A handful of Delia loyalists, among whom was Vincent Borg – the man at the centre of the latest spat between the two men – who were waiting outside hurled insults at Azzopardi as he drove off.
The meeting was originally called by Grech earlier this week, after Delia took to Facebook to attack Azzopardi, after the latter uploaded a post announcing that he had won a libel case against one of Delia’s canvassers.
Azzopardi won the case in which he sued Borg – also known as Ċensu l-Iswed – after he suggested that Azzopardi used to meet a prostitute at Portomaso. The claim, for which Borg was ordered by the courts to pay Azzopardi €1,000, was made in the run-up to last year’s PN leadership election.
Delia had lost that election, the last in a series of attempts by MPs and other party officials – including Azzopardi – to force a change in the party’s leadership.
Following the judgment, 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 responded by “challenging” Azzopardi to publish the “700 messages [he said he has] against me”, a reference to WhatsApp messages that Fenech and Delia exchanged in 2019 and which were published by Times of Malta.
It is unclear what powers the committee has in terms of taking diciplinary action against the either of the two men, should it decide to do so.
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