Speaker finds against PBS in breach of privilege complaint by Opposition leader

PBS headline misrepresented Bernard Grech’s speech on climate change, Speaker Anġlu Farrugia rules in breach of privilege complaint

Speaker Anġlu Farrugia
Speaker Anġlu Farrugia

Speaker of the House Anġlu Farrugia has ordered the national broadcaster to correct the title of a news report on Bernard Grech’s parliamentary speech on climate change.

In a ruling delivered on Wednesday, following a complaint filed by the Opposition leader, Farrugia said the title of the report did not reflect the spirit of what Grech had said.

Grech spoke in parliament on Monday during the Second Reading of the Bill setting up the Climate Change Authority. The PBS report used the headline, ‘PN leader said climate change is an obstacle to economic growth’, in its report on Grech’s speech.

The Speaker ruled that the headline did not reflect what Grech had said. Additionally, the Speaker ruled that a statement attributed to Grech in the report was not quoted in its entirety thus not fully reflecting what the Opposition leader had said.

Farrugia ordered PBS to affect the necessary corrections to the news report.

In his speech on Monday, Grech criticised the government for setting up the authority “four years too late”, referring to an Opposition motion in 2019 that had called for a specific entity to be created to deal with climate change.

The government initially rejected the motion but then agreed on a compromise text that declared a climate emergency but dropped the proposal for a specific body.

Grech said the Opposition sees climate action as an opportunity to make a transition towards a cleaner economy which abides by ESG criteria.