Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Heated exchanges over Charity stall fees row

Caruana calls Picardo “a barracks room lawyer”

There was a moment of heated argument in the House of Assembly on Friday when members of the Opposition took exception to a comment made by the Minister for Sport Clive Beltran, following the recent public disagreement regarding the fees payable by charity stalls at the fair.

During his Budget Speech Mr Beltran referred to the GSLP/Liberal's “mischievous” treatment of this matter and reiterated that no fees were charged, to which Opposition spokesman Steven Linares brandished a paper which he had already made public some weeks ago, that outlined the alleged charges payable by charity stalls.

Mr Beltran said that the document produced by Mr Linares was not an official ministry document and stated that with a computer it was possible to manufacture such a paper.

At that point Fabian Picardo angrily leapt to his feet and called a point of order, and challenged the Government to clarify whether there was an imputation against Mr Linares that he had produced a forged document. Mr Caruana intervened and said that there had been no such insinuation in the formula of words used by Mr Beltran. Mr Caruana repeated his description of Mr Picardo “as a barrack room lawyer” wagging fingers in an excitable state.

The Speaker said that in his interpretation Mr Beltran’s words were not aimed at any member.

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