The Nationalist Party’s executive president Mark Anthony Sammut has warned that the PN is being damaged by domestic violence accusations against the Opposition leader and a subsequent leak of private data, including from his personal phone.
“The allegations made, including sworn allegations, and footage circulating are very disturbing and some of the allegations are of a criminal nature,” Sammut told The Sunday Times of Malta. “The party should not be dragged into quarrels which are definitely harming it and which are outside of its control.”
Sammut’s intervention is significant as it is the first time a PN official has gone on record about their concerns on the current situation regarding the Opposition leader. It is also notable as he is seen internally as a supporter of Delia, and indeed this is the first time he has made headlines for his criticism of the leader.
Several PN officials opened up about their concerns to Lovin Malta earlier this week, but on condition of anonymity, a story which prompted Delia to sue for libel.
In comments to The Sunday Times today, Sammut confirmed that the executive committee will convene to discuss the situation, raging that the allegations against the PN leader are “very serious and should be addressed by the party organs”.
“I am awaiting that matters raised are addressed in the party organs and I will see that the executive committee is convened in due time, and we will then take it up from there,” he said.
The Sunday Times spoke to anonymous PN sources, who noted how only eight of the PN’s 28 MPs have publicly pledged their support for Delia on Facebook, a number which does not even include secretary general Clyde Puli, often seen as one of Delia’s most loyal supporters.
“The fact that two-thirds of the parliamentary group do not stick their necks out for Dr Delia in the circumstances carries huge significance,” a party source said.
A spokesperson for Delia denied rumours that he had submitted his resignation in recent days but that this was rejected by high-ranking party officials.
“Dr Delia has never submitted his resignation and has no intention of resigning from the position of Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the PN,” the spokesperson said.
Adrian Delia with his wife Nickie Vella de Fremeaux
Delia clarifies financial situation
Meanwhile, Delia brushed off concerns about his income that were raised internally in light of his having to pay €2,750 monthly in maintenance, over and above his five children’s school fees, despite only pocketing €2,700 a month from his honorarium as Opposition leader.
Contacted on the phone by the Sunday Times, Delia denied that he is receiving a party leader’s salary from the PN and explained he has two sources of income: his parliamentary renumeration and another deriving from what he said was the sale of his business interests in the legal firm Aequitas, which is payable to him on a monthly basis.
He also dismissed warnings by an MP who spoke to Lovin Malta that he is walking around with €500 notes.
“And just a point of curiosity: I do not walk around with bags of €500 notes,” he commented.
“On balance, the [maintenance costs] were not costs which arose last week. I was spending that money anyway to maintain my children and wife before the separation. So separation or not, nothing much has changed in this regard.”