Grandad’s resignation ambush turns media disaster for Adrian Delia

Former Fenech Adami aide announces resignation from party membership during Delia’s Independence week visit to NGO’s office

Wow... this is not going as well as we expected
Wow... this is not going as well as we expected
Grandad’s resignation ambush turns media disaster for Adrian Delia

It was supposed to be a courtesy visit marking the PN’s commitment to old-age pensioners as part of the party’s, if dampened, Independence week celebrations.

And for Adrian Delia, the small grey cloud hovering above his head was never too far from him on Tuesday morning.

His meeting with Grandparents Malta’s founder Philip Chirop – a former personal assistant to prime minister Eddie Fenech Adami and a one-time member of the PN’s administrative council – turned media disaster as Chircop let rip and informed Delia he would not be renewing his party membership.

Delia could only pucker his lips and sit quietly as he took in his host’s rant, while Nationalist MP Ivan Bartolo squirmed in his seat in obvious discomfort as they sat in silence under the media glare, for over two excruciating minutes.

“I have to resign from the party, and I have to state this officially… and it’s not because I have switched or taken anything from the government or the previous administration.”

Chircop however did call on Delia to take control of those internal adversaries whom he said were sowing discord in the PN. “At any time, the electorate will always need two political forces which to choose from.”

Chircop is the founder of Nanniet Malta, a voluntary organisation he started in 2007 after retiring from public service. “I don’t want anybody playing with emotions here, saying ‘Philip left, he’s a hypocrite’… I have never taken a cent from any government, even getting early retirement was a chore. I have my responsibility as a citizen and former high-ranking official, and as the leader of a foundation that has people of different political beliefs.”

Chircop turned to the media, imploring them to report “the spirit of what he had said”, while at the same taking issue with a previous report by the PN organ In-Nazzjon which trumpeted Chircop’s alleged praise of Delia in a previous encounter. “I have spoken in my personal capacity, and as a foundation we are equidistant from all the parties. We respect you, the prime minister, the president, the parliament and the courts.”

Delia’s bruising encounter has followed a disastrous week for the PN as it celebrated the 55th year of Malta’s independence with a toned-down event outside its headquarters instead of its grand celebration on the Granaries in Floriana.

After his meeting with Chircop, the PN issued a statement in which Delia said that the elderly had to be treated with dignity and not mere charity. “The elderly have enormous value, and it is important they feel active in society and pass on their wisdom to our future generations.”

More in National