Speaker Anglu Farrugia will not allow questions on Keith Schembri’s offshore accounts

Former Nationalist Party leader will be appealing the decision by the Speaker to stop him from asking questions about the prime minister's chief of staff

"We are in Malta, not Pyongyang," PN leader Simon Busuttil told the House.

Speaker Anglu Farrugia said that he cannot “abdicate his duty” in order to allow former Nationalist Party leader Simon Busuttil to ask parliamentary questions about the prime minister’s chief of staff.

Last week, Busuttil asked whether the prime minister’s chief of staff, Keith Schembri, owned a bank account in Dubai or in Pilatus Bank, in two parliamentary questions which were barred as they were not considered to be of public interest.

Busuttil subsequently requested a ruling from the Deputy Speaker instead, as he claimed that Speaker Farrugia made a mistake.

In parliament this afternoon, Farrugia explained that parliamentary questions addressed to ministers must relate to public affairs to which they are officially connected with and what they are personally responsible for, have a factual basis, and not seek confirmation of media rumours.

He also remarked that as a member of parliament, Busuttil ought to be aware of the parliamentary procedures.

The decision triggered an immediate response from Busuttil, who described it as "unprecedented", "absurd," and "dangerous" in a tweet.

Busuttil informed the Speaker that he will be appealing the decision.