PN media chief Pierre Portelli in Twitter spat with Jason Azzopardi

While Jason Azzopardi praises the Times of Malta editorial critical of Michelle Muscat and Nickie Vella de Fremaux, Pierre Portelli calls it 'pathetic'

Azzopardi said he was proud 'not to be Michelle Muscat's defence counsel'
Azzopardi said he was proud 'not to be Michelle Muscat's defence counsel'

Nationalist Party MP Jason Azzopardi has accused some members of the party’s administration of acting as “Michelle Muscat’s defence counsel”.

Azzopardi originally posted a link to the Times of Malta’s Monday editorial with an accompanying post reading: “Pls do read this editorial. And reflect”.

But prompt came the reaction from Pierre Portelli, chairperson of the PN's media organisation, who described it as "a pathetic editorial", sharing instead a link to the coverage of party leader Adrian Delia’s interview on Net FM on Sunday.

This did not go down well with Azzopardi.

“Sheer madness calling ‘pathetic’ a newspaper which any respectable party needs as a faithful and powerful medium for transmitting its political message. I’m proud not to be Michelle Muscat’s defence counsel,” Azzopardi wrote.

The government's head of communications also chimed in, insisting that "any respectable independent newspaper would rush to disassociate itself from such statements".

The editorial accuses the Prime Minister and his wife of intentionally dragging their children into the political spotlight.

“It was their free decision and if they wanted to spare their children the tauntings, they should have ensured their daughters kept a low profile. They did not and now they only blame the school and not themselves too,” reads the editorial.

It goes on to state that “depressively the Opposition leader’s wife joined in too” by giving an interview to Labour-leaning newspaper it-Torca, in which she said that her son too was not being invited to parties for political reasons”. Nickie Vella De Fremeaux had originally made the statement in a lengthy post on her Facebook wall.

The Times editorial adds that the real tragedy is that “the Opposition leader’s wife sounds very much like Mrs Muscat”. Referring to Vella de Fremeaux’s criticism of those attending vigils in honour of Daphne Caruana Galizia, the Times says that “the same people she is disappointed in are very probably equally dissatisfied by her husband’s performance and his failure to reignite and unite the party”.

This, it says, is the “harsh reality of politics” and not bullying, while concluding by saying Nationalist supporters evidently do not think like Vella de Fremeaux and did not like such antics.

“[They] certainly do not look forward to a Nationalist Party moulded out of Labour, as it is tragically looking.”

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