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6th July 2017, 08:45

Danny Feetham steps down as Leader of the Opposition for 'family reasons'

Daniel Feetham has stood down from the leadership of the Opposition and the GSD. Roy Clinton has been appointed leader on an interim basis, and leadership elections will be held possibly after the summer.

Mr Feetham said his decision was made for family reasons, taken before Lawrence Llamas resigned his membership of the party, and communicated to the Executive last Monday. He said he believed Mr Llamas’ resignation had been choreographed to caused the GSD maximum harm.

Daniel Feetham has been leader of the GSD and the Opposition since Sir Peter Caruana stepped down in 2012. He said those six years had been very difficult ones for him and his family, and said it had been a lonely path for him to tread.

Mr Feetham said the scars of the attack on him in 2010 had not yet healed, and it had been his intention to stand down at the time, but was persuaded to carry on by the then party leader.

Following the last election, Mr Feetham planned to find his successor and step down as leader by this Christmas. However, the events of the last week, with Lawrence Llamas breaking ranks on the budget vote, accelerated the process in his mind, and he says he communicated this to party MPs on Monday.

He says Mr Llamas knew this, and his resignation from the party has been choreographed and stage managed to cause maximum harm to the GSD, and describes this as politically dishonest.

Daniel Feetham will remain on the GSD benches for the next two years. He says his new role as an Opposition MP will be defined by the new party leader, whoever that may be. He’s made no decision as to his political future beyond that.

Roy Clinton is the party’s interim leader until leadership elections take place, possibly after the summer. None of the GSD’s MPs have given any indication as to whether they intend to challenge Mr Clinton for the leadership. The party has not ruled out a non-elected GSD member putting themselves forward for the leadership.