Adrian Delia aides eye rising star Bernard Grech with suspicion

The Opposition leader's aides are concerned about factionalism within the PN after an offer to lawyer Bernard Grech to run for MEP elections in 2019 fell on deaf ears

Family lawyer Bernard Grech received an offer to run for MEP elections in 2019; lack of response from Grech's end sends out a feeling of well-established factionalism
Family lawyer Bernard Grech received an offer to run for MEP elections in 2019; lack of response from Grech's end sends out a feeling of well-established factionalism

Aides to Opposition leader Adrian Delia have expressed concern about the PN’s deepening factionalism, after an offer to lawyer Bernard Grech to run for MEP in 2019 did not come back with an answer.

Grech, a family lawyer who had publicly backed the anti-divorce campaign in 2011, was said to have refused to commit after Delia offered to have him run in the upcoming European elections.

“He has refused to commit to the offer so far,” PN aides who spoke to MaltaToday said. “If someone like Simon Busuttil is toying with a last-minute candidature for Europe, it could be a sign of things to come.”

Grech is viewed with both appraisal and concern by PN insiders who think the political commentator is becoming a possible reference point for PN supporters who have not warmed up to Adrian Delia.

“Grech is a valid prospect to enter politics, but his refusal to commit to a candidature – he had already turned down Simon Busuttil’s offer to run in the general election – is also of concern,” one aide who spoke to this newspaper said.

“We think some factions close to Busuttil might see him as leadership material if a challenge had to ever materialise.”

Grech is actively supported on Facebook by well-wishers who admire his oratory skills, which show he is able to fly the Nationalist flag on television shows with hostile debaters with the tone that once defined the PN’s anti-corruption message championed by Simon Busuttil. Grech has a regular weekly slot on Radio 101 and another weekly slot on a lifestyle programme on NET TV.

Another aide who spoke to MaltaToday said Grech has put out sponsored posts on Facebook to push his profile as a lawyer, and that well-wishers often conjure up the possibility that he considers the party leadership. “I see people like Michael Fenech Adami, who tends to be close to people who openly deride Delia, being too fawning of Grech on Facebook.”

Fenech Adami works at the PN headquarters, running technical arrangements, while being an employee of MEP David Casa, who is himself considered to be inimical to Delia’s leadership.

“Factionalism is a problem inside the PN: in a recent executive meeting Delia was planning to file a police report on Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi on the latest revelations on 17 Black. The fact that Occupy Justice beat the party to it suggests that internal matters are being leaked,” the aide said.

In many posts Grech’s Facebook records several people who encourage him to be the next leader. Grech makes it a point to thank them without ever suggesting that the party leader should be Adrian Delia.

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