[WATCH] PN reshuffle is on the table, Adrian Delia says

Fresh from a confidence vote victory, Adrian Delia says on Xtra Sajf that he will accept criticism but will not allow anyone to hinder the PN’s work

Adrian Delia on Xtra Sajf
Adrian Delia on Xtra Sajf

A reshuffle in the Nationalist Party parliamentary group is in the offing as Adrian Delia mulls the next steps after winning an internal confidence vote.

The PN leader said that he will be making the “necessary changes” in the shadow portfolios when interviewed on TVM’s Xtra Sajf on Thursday.

Delia did not say when he will conduct the reshuffle but outlined his idea of creating “teams” to shadow particular portfolios.

Delia, who earlier in the programme posited the environment as a main priority for the PN, was asked whether current environment spokesperson Jason Azzopardi was the ideal choice.

“I will make necessary changes in the shadow portfolios. I will create teams of people, some of whom will be outside the parliamentary group. On the environment, people with the greatest credibility on the subject will be chosen,” Delia said.

This was the PN leader’s first interview after winning a vote of confidence among party councillors last week with 68% of the vote.

Delia has faced strong internal opposition, including from MPs, ever since becoming PN leader in September 2017. Asked what he intended to do with the dissenting MPs, Delia insisted he could not act as if nothing has happened.

He welcomed constructive criticism and reiterated that his door remained open to “all those of goodwill” who wanted to work for the PN.

“There is space for these people but there is no time to waste with those who do not want to work together. The [general council] result does not mean I will not accept criticism, but I will not allow anyone to hinder the PN’s work,” Delia said, adding he will take hard decisions if necessary.

Talking about policy, the PN leader said the environment will be a top priority for the party, insisting on having a carbon neutral country by 2045.

Delia said environmental protection was necessary for the country’s wellbeing, adding that a more concerted effort was needed to plant more trees.

“We cannot be dogmatic and say no trees will be uprooted as a result of infrastructure works but we have to ensure this is done only if necessary and we have to plant more instead,” Delia said.
The PN has groups of people working on proposals for the next general election, he added. “We have to present the electorate with a choice. We will offer proposals not just criticism, and we will show how they can be executed… My job is to unite the party and get all people on board to work for the future,” he said.

Delia denied having any personal financial problems with the banks as implied by claims made by his ex-wife in a judicial protest last week.

Asked about the PN’s financial situation, Delia said that in September, two years since he took over the leadership, he would be showing how the party managed to generate income from some of its properties.

He remained committed to a promise made during the leadership race that the party’s debt burden will be reduced over a 10-year span and put in a good word to his predecessor’s administration for “stopping the haemorrhage”.