The Malta Independent 25 September 2020, Friday

Updated: Fearne does not turn up at office; seen entering Castille

Monday, 13 January 2020, 11:42 Last update: about 9 months ago

Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne did not turn up at the Health Ministry today, fuelling speculation of a possible resignation from the post after his defeat to Robert Abela in the challenge for the Labour leadership.

Sources told The Malta Independent that Fearne has not yet made any contact with members of the staff since his defeat on Saturday, and has sent his driver to his office to pick up his personal belongings.

Fearne was also not present for Abela's swearing in ceremony, but according to TVM he was later seen entering the Office of the Prime Minister. 

Abela had told journalists earlier that he would be meeting the Deputy Prime Minister in the afternoon.

Sources have also told this newsroom that there might be a meeting of the PL Parliamentary Group on Monday evening, and that Abela will have one-to-one meetings with the PL MPs on Tuesday morning. 

There is a possibility of a reshuffle of the Cabinet as Abela will seek to make changes to give his team a new imprint.

A hint was given by a DOI statement this morning about this afternoon’s ceremony. At the bottom of instructions given, it was written that “Media registration for the Prime Minister’s Oath of Office will also be valid for the eventual ceremony of the Oath of Office of Cabinet Ministers.” This gives the indication that new ministers could be appointed.

The list of spokespersons for the different ministries is no longer available on the government website, pointing towards changes that will be made by Abela.

Abela was sworn in on Monday afternoon, and there is as yet no announcement of a press conference by the new head of government.

Fearne is said to be extremely disappointed by the result, and yesterday did not attend Abela's first public appearance - his speech to Labour Party members at Kordin. Earlier in the morning, he had thanked all those who supported him during the campaign, and said he will continue to be loyal to the party. There was no mention of Abela or former leader Joseph Muscat.

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