Bernard Grech ready to explore relationships with former PN members

This includes ex-Nationalist MP Franco Debono, who voted against the Nationalist Party's budget programme in 2012 

Opposition leader Bernard Grech stated that the Nationalist Party is ready to work with ex-members who have left the party over the years, including former MP Franco Debono, who Grech described as a person with a lot to offer.

During an interview with Newsbook's Charmaine Attard, Grech said that he is willing to explore possible renewed relationships with people who have since left the Nationalist Party, but whose views have changed.

"There are a lot of people wo left us a few years ago, people like Franco Debono, so yes will explore all possible relationships with those whose views have changed about the party."

Having served as a Nationalist Party MP between 2008 and 2013, things ended sour for Franco Debono after bringing down the Nationalist government of the time by voting with the Labour Party opposition against the budget in 2012.

He was then barred from contesting the 2013 general election under the Nationalist Party, and is yet to contest another election since then.

Grech further commented over investigations being carried out against Nationalist MPs Karol Aquilina and Anthony Bezzina. When asked whether he would request Bezzina's temporary resignation, Grech said that he will first wait to see the accusations being brought against him before taking any decisions. 

Aquilina has since resigned from his posts as party spokesperson for justice and parliamentary group secretary pending the outcome of the court case.

'I don't believe in presidential pardons'

Grech insisted that offering presidential pardons for tell-alls on criminal activity should be considered as a last resort only.

He explained the rationale behind his consideration for a presidential pardon awarded to Yorgen Fenech, who is currently being charged for masterminding the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

He said that presidential pardons should only be considered if all other venues of investigation have been exhausted, and that he is ready to do what it takes to find out the truth about the assassination in question.

"I don't believe in presidential pardons, I believe in investigations," he explained.

Grech was also prompted over MaltaToday survey results published on Sunday, that show how the trust gap between Bernard Grech and Robert Abela has more than doubled to 11 points.

He said that surveys like this are a "snapshot of the day", but admitted that further work is needed in the Nationalist Party to bolster voter support.