Malta’s Opposition Leader has pledged to investigate the names of two PN MPs who allegedly asked to skip the COVID-19 vaccination queue.
“It is true that the Deputy Prime Minister approached me yesterday after he made a whole scene,” Bernard Grech said in Parliament. “I told him that from the information I have, someone asked a deputy of mine to skip the queue, and she refused them… I am referring to Claudette Buttigieg.”
“But I would like to say that just now, before I entered here, the Deputy Prime Minister approached me and gave me two names, and I am going to verify the facts, even though all my deputies told me that it’s not true,” he continued.
Grech’s reaction comes after Chris Fearne initially claimed a PN MP had asked him to skip the queue for the COVID-19 vaccination and get it earlier than they are meant to, before today doubling down and saying there was more than one MP involved.
Though Grech spoke to his MPs and said they unanimously denied the claims, he still said he would look into the two names Fearne has now given him. It is as yet unknown which names Fearne passed on to Grech.
However, Grech went a step further, calling for parliamentary protection and a ruling from the Speaker over what he saw as a breaking of parliamentary privilege.
“Mr President, I need your protection,” Grech said. “I have full respect for everyone in this room, but it is not acceptable that someone changes or reports incorrectly something said in a conversation. I deny categorically that I told the Deputy Prime Minister that I knew who he was referring to, it’s absolutely untrue, and my invitation remains that he gives me information so I take relevant steps.”
Grech also called out Fearne for attempting to score political points with his claims, “especially when it involves people’s health”.