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Farrugia claims are campaign’s most serious news item – PM

Labour leader says Anġlu Farrugia still has a big role to play in party

Former Labour deputy leader Anġlu Farrugia. Photo: Jason Borg

Former Labour deputy leader Anġlu Farrugia. Photo: Jason Borg

Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi yesterday urged the media not to dismiss Anġlu Farrugia’s interview with The Sunday Times, saying this was the “most serious” news item of the campaign.

Why is Dr Muscat hiding from giving a clarification about this allegation being made by someone who worked by his side for all these years?

Labour’s former deputy leader, who was forced to resign in December, told The Sunday Times this week that he was uncomfortable with Labour’s closeness to contractors. He also said he was a victim of political murder.

Dr Gonzi said these “serious accusations” were confirmed by the Labour Party, which in a statement admitted to meeting “betrayed” businessmen. If Labour leader Joseph Muscat had any respect for public opinion, he would stop hiding from these questions.

When asked to clarify what was wrong with politicians meeting disgruntled businessmen, Dr Gonzi simply reiterated his view that it was Dr Muscat who should be answering the questions, not him.

“It’s not me who made the accusations,” he added.

Dr Gonzi also refused to be drawn on making comparisons with incidents from his own party’s past, such as PN general secretaries attending boat trips with contractor Zaren Vassallo, who was awarded major tenders, including that of the BWSC power station.

“Don’t twist around Anġlu Farrugia’s words,” replied Dr Gonzi. “Dr Farrugia said much more than that in his interview... much more. And that’s why we need an explanation.

“Let’s not make a big effort to hide the most serious news story in this campaign. Why is there all this effort to hide it?

“Why is Dr Muscat hiding from giving a clarification about this allegation being made by someone who worked by his side for all these years? His own deputy leader said he felt uncomfortable,” Dr Gonzi said, urging journalists to direct the questions to Dr Muscat.

Meanwhile, Dr Muscat yesterday said Dr Farrugia still had a big role to play, both in the country and the Labour Party.

Dr Muscat also unreservedly condemned death threats that Dr Farrugia said he had received following his resignation from the party.

Dr Farrugia mentioned the death threats during his interview with The Sunday Times.

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