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Mintoff’s two daughters attend Labour conference

Dom Mintoff paid a surprise visit to PL leader Joseph Muscat in December 2009.

Dom Mintoff paid a surprise visit to PL leader Joseph Muscat in December 2009.

A daughter of former Prime Minister Dom Mintoff has been appointed a special delegate of the Labour Party and will be at this morning’s closing session of the annual conference, The Sunday Times has learnt.

Yana Mintoff Bland, 60, confirmed she was approached by Labour leader Joseph Muscat to become a special delegate.

“I felt very good about it and I’m really impressed by what I saw,” said Dr Mintoff Bland, an economist and school administrator.

Her sister, Anne McKenna, will also be present for today’s closing session, which will be addressed by Labour leader Joseph Muscat.

Changes to the Labour Party statute enacted when Dr Muscat was made leader almost four years ago allow the party to appoint special delegates to the general conference for a one-year period.

A spokesman for the Labour Party said Dr Mintoff Bland, appointed a special delegate for 2012, was approached because of the contribution she could make the party. The presence of Mr Mintoff’s two daughters is significant for a party that has had to close the rift that developed between the party faithful and the former leader when he brought the Labour government down in 1998.

The spokesman said this was part of a “healing” process that has been going on for the past 15 years. Dr Mintoff Bland is currently based in Malta after moving from the US to look after her father, who is 95.

She was full of praise for the Labour Party under Dr Muscat’s leadership.

“There are some brilliant people and a lot of dedication to see a better country, more equality and a higher standard of living,” she said.

Asked about her father, who had to be hospitalised for a period last year, Dr Mintoff Bland said he had just recovered from a cold and described him as a “courageous” man.

“He still reads the newspapers every day; he is a political animal after all,” she said.

In 1978, Dr Mintoff Bland, then a 27-year-old teacher and activist in the UK, got her moment of notoriety when she was fined after throwing a bag of manure in the House of Commons.

She had been part of a protest against Britain’s military presence in Northern Ireland.

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