Said expresses disappointment over attacks ‘from certain sections of the party’

PN leadership candidate Chris Said denies allegations that outgoing PN leader Simon Busuttil was ‘campaigning’ for him and insists on working on his own steam

Nationalist Party leadership hopeful Chris Said has expressed his disappointment in what he described as “attacks from certain sections of the party” against him, amid claims that he enjoys the support of outgoing leader Simon Busuttil.

Yesterday, opponent Adrian Delia told reporters that Busuttil was “busy campaigning for Said” – a claim that was denied by Busuttil in a text message to the parliamentary group.

“I am disappointed in these attacks coming from certain sections of the party. I am working on my own steam,” Said told reporters during a press conference this morning.

Said – also questioned about recent writings by Daphne Caruana Galizia in which she targeted councillors, MPs and other PN exponents – described the blogs as being “in bad taste”.

“The PN should remain in charge of its own agenda and not fall victim to other newspapers, journalists or even opposing parties,” Said commented, careful not to single her out. At the same time, he argued that certain revelations made by Caruana Galizia – such as the Panama Papers reports – cannot be ignored.

Said’s press conference, held at the PN club in Sliema with an audience of a handful of people, focused on his plans for pensioners and elderly if elected leader.

He criticised the government for its “unequal share of wealth”, especially when it comes to pensioners and the elderly.

“I had the opportunity to meet with thousands of pensioners, and they all talked about the limited pension fund that restricts them from actually having wants, not just needs,” he said. “I spoke with a lot of pensioners that unfortunately only manage to acquire the basic necessities with debt.”

Said, declared that if elected leader, as of next Monday he will be putting the elderly and pensioners at the centre of PN politics. Said, mentioned various initiatives such as a ‘grant’ for grandparents who take care of their nephews, and a refund on medicines, which are bought off the shelf because the government currently does not provide them.

Said insisted that taxation on pension funds should be abolished mainly because this tax is already paid by the pensioners during their working career via the National Insurance (N.I).

Said was also asked about freemasonry, after Delia’s lawyer Arthur Azzopardi was revealed to have been a freemason until 2011. Azzopardi, who was also eligible to vote in Saturday’s election, was struck off the PN voters’ register.

“The statute is clear on such organisations… they’re bad,” he said, adding that it would only take him “two seconds” to sack someone from the party if faced with a similar scenario.

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