[WATCH] Six weeks after IVF vote, PN's Ivan Bartolo back in party's good books

After a forced absence following his voting against the party whip in the IVF reform vote, the PN spokesperson for poverty returned today in his official capacity after a reconciliation meeting at the PN's headquarters earlier this week

PN MP Ivan Bartolo
PN MP Ivan Bartolo

Nationalist MP Ivan Bartolo was back in business on Friday after addressing a press conference on behalf of the party.

Bartolo was forced to take a step back from official party appearances after breaking ranks with the Nationalist Party and voting against amendments to Malta’s IVF law.

When asked about his absence on Friday, and whether he has spoken to Opposition leader Bernard Grech recently, Bartolo said he continued with his own work during this official absence.

“When I was invited, I attended. You mentioned a person who, I think, isn’t here, and so I cannot answer for them. But I think that, from my side, I continued with my work.”

Grech is currently on holiday.

But the party spokesperson for poverty appears to be back in the party’s good books after he broke ranks on the IVF law last July.

MPs Adrian Delia and Alex Borg also disregarded the PN’s official position on the IVF amendments and voted against the changes to allow embryo genetic testing.

After the three MPs broke ranks with the party, they were forbidden by the party administration from participating in television debates on IVF.

While Adrian Delia defied the party and continued to make media appearances, Bartolo and Borg remained away from the cameras, attending informal meetings or using their personal media channels to get their messages across.

Indeed, Bartolo did not even appear at an official party press conference on the cost of living, despite being the party’s spokesperson for the fight against poverty.

MaltaToday is informed that Ivan Bartolo was called to party headquarters earlier this week, where sources say he had a frank discussion with the party’s secretary-general Michael Piccinino and the director of information Simon Vella Gregory, where it is understood that he aired his grievances about the way the party was treating him, and shunning him.

On Thursday, the PN issued a statement on inflation with Bartolo as a signatory. He hadn't been marked as a signatory on a press statement since the IVF vote.