Watch: Is Jason Azzopardi aligned with PN or civil society?

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Multiple newsrooms picked up an allegation made by Nationalist Party MP Jason Azzopardi on Saturday’s edition of Andrew Azzopardi on 103: that a sitting minister had been linked to a serious crime by Vince Muscat il-Koħħu, one of the three alleged hitmen in the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

But at the start of the programme, he was also asked whether he was primarily aligned with the Nationalist Party or with civil society.

The MP is one of the Caruana Galizia family’s lawyers, and has also appeared for civil society NGO Repubblika, including in its request for the police to investigate the death of migrants at sea over the Easter weekend. He has been repeatedly criticised for this by Prime Minister Robert Abela, though the Standards Commissioner threw out a complaint that alleged the MP acted unethically.

In his response to Prof. Azzopardi, the MP acknowledged his closeness to civil society organisations, but emphasised that he has proudly long been part of the PN, including as an MP since 1998.

He highlighted that the PN often ended up aligned with civil society because they often shared the same goals, even if they did not necessarily agree on everything.

800 new PN members since Grech becomes leader

Prof. Azzopardi noted that this was not always the case, but the MP responded that the past was the past, before noting that he had been pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm he had seen since Bernard Grech succeeded Adrian Delia as party leader. Since then, he observed, 800 new people have become paid-up members of the party, of whom many were young.

The MP added that while the party still faced an uphill road, the surveys suggest that it was on the right track, and that it was clear that Labour MPs were becoming uneasy with the PN’s resurgence.

Pressed further, Azzopardi said that the co-option of popular MEP Miriam Dalli into Parliament was a clear sign of this, as the government clearly saw the need to strengthen its ranks.