The Malta Independent 24 January 2022, Monday

David Thake resigns from Parliament, Graziella Galea proposed to take Parliamentary seat

Thursday, 13 January 2022, 14:09 Last update: about 10 days ago

David Thake has announced his resignation from Parliament.

This comes in the wake of his VAT scandal.

Recent revelations have shown that Thake's companies Vanilla Telecoms and MaltaShopper LTD owe around €270,000 and €550,000 in VAT arrears respectively. Thake stated that a big portion of the VAT owed through his companies was part of the Covid-19 VAT deferral scheme.

Speaking in a Facebook video on Thursday, he said that there are people who believe he evaded tax, "which is not true."

"I am guilty of nothing other than an administrative mistake of filing accounts on time. I am not corrupt, I am not a criminal, I have not abused power, those are still in Parliament."

"The Labour Party failed in this regard, but the Labour standards can never be mind and should not be yours."

He said that days ago he had challenged the Prime Minister to, together, go before journalists with our tax attorneys and allow us to be scrutinised. I told him that if he passes through this scrutiny as being clean, I would resign. If the Prime Minister didn't have a doubt that he had everything in order he would have done it. Why didn't he accept? As today we have a Prime Minister with unexplained wealth, meaning he has property, objects which he cannot explain how he bought them. He should be scrutinised by journalist and the political system. This is why the Labour Party is refusing to discuss a law about unexplained wealth as they are afraid and have things to hide."

"My standards are not Robert Abela's. I've decided to resign from Parliament and will pass on a letter to the Speaker of the House regarding this decision."

He said he informed the PN leadership and feels that he is making the right decision, "not because I did anything wrong, as I did nothing wrong other an administrative mistake, a mistake anyone can make. But I understand you should expect MPs not to make these kinds of mistakes, even if it was simply an administrative mistake. I feel I have a duty to the people for our country to start understanding what the standards are for people in public life."

In a statement, the Nationalist Party said that it would like to thank David Thake "for reaffirming his political responsibility, by resigning from Parliament, and withdrawing his candidacy from the Nationalist Party."

Nationalist Party leader Bernard Grech has accepted David Thake's resignation and thanked him for his contribution to the party and fighting to improve the standards in politics.

"This resignation leads to a vacancy in the parliamentary group to be filled by a co-option. The Leader of the Nationalist Party will be proposing, to the party structures, Architect Graziella Galea to fill this vacancy. Graziella Galea is the minority leader of St. Paul's Bay Local Council and also a candidate of the Nationalist Party on the 12th district."

David Thake had been elected through a casual election in January 2020, replacing Simon busuttil after the latter had stepped down. Graziella Galea had gained the second highest number of votes in that casual election after Thake.


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