Labour MPs have refused to say whether they would submit to drug tests, ignoring questions sent by Lovin Malta, and instead replying en-masse with the same statement.
Questions were sent to all sitting MPs, asking whether they had ever used cocaine, whether they’d submit to a drug test, and whether they believed all sitting MPs should undergo regular drug tests.
Only three sitting MPs said they would submit to a drug test – the PN’s Claudio Grech, and the PD’s Godfrey Farrugia and Marlene Farrugia.
And only one PL MP, Etienne Grech, actually replied to our questions individually.
Nearly every Labour MP replied with the same response
Members of the government were quick to condemn David Casa in a united front after the allegations were made public – and that front didn’t change in reply to Lovin Malta’s questions as nearly all Labour MPs replied in a orchestrated manner.
The first MP to reply to our questions was Glenn Bedingfield, who replied with:
“The request by David Casa is ridiculous. An attempt to divert the issue.
By not submitting himself to a test immediately, Casa has forever lost the chance to clear his name.”
Following his answers, a number of replies from other Labour MPs flooded in, complete with the purple-font copy-pasted answer Glenn Bedingfield had sent in earlier.
The following MPs avoided answering the questions and responded with the exact same answer as Glenn Bedingfield’s:
Justyne Caruana, Clayton Bartolo, Konrad Mizzi, Chris Agius, Byron Camilleri, Silvio Schembri, Evarist Bartolo, Clifton Grima, Ian Borg, Robert Abela, Chris Cardona, Silvio Parnis and Rosianne Cutajar.
Pictured: The Labour parliamentary group
The following Labour MPs deigned to slightly amend the canned response
Michael Farrugia – “The request by Casa is ridiculous and intended only to prolong time instead of taking the test with immediate effect, knowingly that traces are lost in a very short period of time.”
Alex Muscat – “It seems quite obvious that the reaction of David Casa is an attempt to divert the story away from him. He had an opportunity to clear his name, but his knee-jerk reaction actually gave him away.”
Edward Zammit Lewis – “David Casa’s request is ridiculous and it is an attempt to divert attention from the real issue. By not submitting himself to a test immediately, Casa has lost the opportunity to clear his name.”
Aaron Farrugia – “David Casa has been given an opportunity to clear his name, but has chosen not to do so. His absurd request is clearly an attempt to divert attention away from the allegations against him.”
Pictured: Etienne Grech
Etienne Grech was the sole Labour MP to actually answer the questions
He said he had never tried any illegal drugs, and said he would not submit to a drug test “unless asked by a court of justice or high police authority when they have reason to suspect so, which should never be the case for illegal drugs.”
Pictured: Claudio Grech
Only one PN MP replied, saying he would submit to a drug test
Claudio Grech said he had never taken illegal drugs, and that he would be willing to submit to a drug test.
When asked if he thought all MPs should submit to regular drug tests he responded with:
“Rather than regular I would advocate for having the right to request such a test (at any time deemed necessary) granted to the prospective Commissioner for Public Standards. This should be accompanied by the rationale for such a measure: the consumption of illicit substances does not only tantamount to a crime but it also finances the operations of ruthless drug dealers, not to mention the impairment of one’s psychological abilities for decision-making. Even more materially, this illicit substance abuse opens up the MP to exposure to blackmail by drug traffickers, and – most importantly – sends a terrible message of disregard to the thousands of families that are going through the misery piled onto them by drug consumption by one of their loved ones. Having said that MPs are human beings and should there be an MP with a drug addiction, there should be a mechanism of how he/she can withdraw from Parliamentary service, kick the addiction, recover from the situation and possibly help others in the process.”
Pictured: Godfrey Farrugia and Marlene Farrugia
And both PD MPs said they would submit to drug tests
PD Leader Godfrey Farrugia said that he had “never consumed illegal or abused of legal drugs” and said he was “ready to take a test any time.”
When asked if MPs should submit to regular drug tests, he said: “Are you referring that all persons who are in public office/service/sector should be tested? If it is so, yes. We are all equal.”
He also noted that “all patients who misuse drugs (legal or illegal) are persons whose dignity we must protect. Such persons have been decriminalized by amendments in the law carried out in the last legislature.”
Marlene Farrugia said that she had never taken illegal drugs, and would submit to a drug test. She also said “it would be interesting if all public service providers are spot checked for drug use.”
Malta’s political scene was rocked on Sunday with the allegations that Nationalist MEP David Casa was a cocaine user
Though the veteran politician categorically denies the claim, cocaine use in Malta is on the rise, with 2017 EU statistics showing that up to 4% of young adults in Malta have used cocaine and police sources saying more people are dabbling in cocaine.
MEP David Casa said that he would submit to a drug test as well as commit to regular drug tests – as long as the “Labour Party parliamentary group agree to do the same.”