[WATCH] ‘I am not comfortable with the situation’ - Labour MP Robert Abela

MaltaToday spoke to Labour MPs and ministers as they entered Castille for a parliamentary group meeting

Labour MP Robert Abela
Labour MP Robert Abela

Labour MP Robert Abela has said he is uncomfortable with the current situation within the Labour Party and that he will be making his feelings known during the party’s parliamentary group meeting, which is currently under way.

Asked whether he had faith in the Prime Minster’s chief of staff Keith Schembri and minister Konrad Mizzi, Abela said that he had a lot to say about the matter and would be doing so during the meeting.

“What I have to say - and I do have a lot to say - will be said within the parliamentary group. That’s how things should be done,” Abela said.

“I am not comfortable with the situation, I think nobody is. I will say what I have to say during the parliamentary group meeting,” he said, “At this time things should be done internally within the party.”

Abela emphasised that if the Labour Party discussed the matter “serenely and maturely” it could emerge “much stronger" and "united."

If the discussion takes place serenely and maturely, the Labour Party could emerge “much stronger and united” from the situation.

MaltaToday spoke with a number of other Labour MPs and ministers as they were entering Castille on Monday for a parliamentary group meeting amid startling developments in the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder investigation and mounting pressure on Schembri and Mizzi to step down following the arrest of Electrogas investor and 17 Black owner Yorgen Fenech.

Environment Minister Jose Herrera also insisted that he would be making his views known at the right time. “When the time comes, I will say what I have to say. Rest assured, I will say what I have to say at the opportune time,” he told reporters.

Echoing Herrera’s comments, EU funds parliamentary secretary Aaron Farrugia said he would be voicing his thoughts during the parliamentary group meeting.

Tourism Minister Edward Zammit Lewis, questioned on whether Schembri and Mizzi were damaging the Labour Party, said that Joseph Muscat would be making the necessary decisions following discussions with his parliamentary group.

“We are here to discuss things - we’ve always done so,” Zammit Lewis said, “And I have faith that the Prime Minister, after listening to us, will make the important decisions, just as he always has.”

Michael Farrugia insisted the police had been making “big strides” in their investigations, with the Interior Minister saying he would be letting the institutions do their job when it came to Schembri and Mizzi.

He said the parliamentary group would be discussing whether the two were damaging the PL, but what was currently most important was that Malta’s institutions did their jobs.

“I think the Prime Minister is doing an impeccable job... and it's his responsibility to be informed [on the investigation’s developments], because at the end of the day it is he who would have to make a recommendation for a presidential pardon,” Farrugia said when pressed on why Muscat was seemingly carrying out the role of Police Commissioner by giving daily press briefings on the Caruana Galizia murder case.

Justice Minister Owen Bonnici also praised Muscat’s actions, saying he was “showing impeccable leadership, and doing everything in his power by giving resources to [Malta’s] institutions to get to the bottom [of the murder].”

“I think that decisions will be taken when facts are established. And the facts are not established by Jason Azzopardi and Simon Busuttil, but by our courts,” he said.

Pressed on whether Schembri and Mizzi should shoulder political responsibility, Bonnici limited himself to saying that everyone had to abide by the rule of law.

Economy Minister Chris Cardona, who was last week questioned by the police in connection with Caruana Galizia’s assassination, did not answer journalists questions. The police also questioned, under caution, three members of Cardona’s secretariat, sources told MaltaToday yesterday. Cardona's questioning was not done under caution.