[WATCH] Muscat plays down Ana Gomes's heckling incident

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said MEP Ana Gomes’s attempt at interrupting his European socialists congress speech was 'something to expect when you lead a public life'

Joseph Muscat has played down Ana Gomes's heckling, at the start of his speech at a meeting of the European left, as a normal part of public life
Joseph Muscat has played down Ana Gomes's heckling, at the start of his speech at a meeting of the European left, as a normal part of public life
Joseph Muscat on heckling by Ana Gomes

The Prime Minister has shrugged off last week’s incident which saw Ana Gomes heckle him as he started delivering his speech at a European socialists’ congress in Lisbon.

Just as Joseph Muscat was welcomed on stage to start his speech at the 2018 Party of European Socialists meeting on Saturday, repeated cries of “shame” were heard in the background. The familiar name of murdered journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia could also be heard.

This was the Portuguese MEP Gomes, in an attempt to interrupt the Prime Minister.

But Muscat, who was fielding questions from journalists today after a special cabinet meeting at the Transport Malta Centre, said the incident was not unusual.

“It’s normal that people have different opinions,” he said, when asked how he felt while Gomes was heckling him, “I was, however, very happy that the rest of the audience, and my European socialist colleagues, showed respect - not to me [personally], but to Malta and the Labour Party.”

“This is something you expect when you lead a public life,” Muscat added.

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The Prime Minister said that he hadn’t approached Gomes to speak to her after the intervention.

“The last time we spoke was when we met during an official visit of her’s to the Office of the Prime Minister,” he said, in reference to a meeting which took place in Castille in December 2017, when an MEP rule of law delegation visited Malta.

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