Labour MP Glenn Bedingfield has officially closed down his controversial blog after over two years of online activity.
The closure comes as the Member of Parliament, who represents the 2nd district, finds himself unable to do proper justice to his blog in light of the amount of work he has, saying he has not updated it since last August.
“I have closed down my blog due to other commitments, such as work in my constituency, in parliament, and around Cottonera – they are taking up my time so I can’t give my full attention to the blog,” he told Lovin Malta.
“If I’m going to be doing something, I want to do it well.”
He explained that since being elected MP, and especially since last September, he has been unable to give the blog the attention it deserves, saying he had written just five blogs in a month, and the number was only going down.
Bedingfield was often criticised for the scathing tone of some of his blog posts
Many questioned the compatibility of his official role with his blogging role, both before and after he became a Member of Parliament following the 2017 election.
As someone who worked closely with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and was (and remains) a state employee, attacks through his blog posts were often seen as an extension of the government’s power, with some saying his blog was being used to criticise and silence government critics.
He was also accused of blogging during work hours, in effect being paid by taxpayers as he worked on his personal blog, and came under fire for the derogatory tone of some posts.
Now, he is focused on his new website
“The website will be all about my political work though, not as the blog used to be, though there will be a blog section on the site,” he said.
Bedingfield has also called on someone to fill the “deficit online” left by the closure of his blog
“The Labour Party has a deficit online, and yes, I do hope that someone takes up the job, whether someone officially or not, and because they want to – I opened my blog because I wanted to myself,” he said.
Glenn Bedingfield’s blog was seen by many as a pro-Labour counterpoint to the critical reports on other Maltese blogs, such as the late Daphne Caruana Galizia’s blog, or the blog of Manuel Delia, an ex-aide to former PN minister Austin Gatt.
It featured blog posts with titles such as ‘If it looks and smells like a fish, it is fishy!’, ‘OHMYLAPTOP!’ and ‘Questions I received from The Guardian’, and often gave space for the inner thoughts of a segment of the Labour electorate to express their political views.