GSD Leader

Keith Azopardi served in the first two GSD administrations led by Sir Peter Caruana, first as Minister for the Environment & Health [1996-2000] and then as Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Trade, Industry & Telecommunications where he also held the financial services portfolio [2000-2003]. In Government he is most proud of his time as Health Minister in the development of a new hospital, primary care centre and the reopening of the nursing school. Together with Sir Peter Caruana he had a central role in the negotiations that led to a new constitution for Gibraltar and in defence of Gibraltar’s rights against the joint sovereignty proposal of the Blair administration. He has been active in Gibraltar politics for more than 25 years. He is a Barrister and Queen’s Counsel. He holds a first degree in law & history [Univ of Keele] and a PhD in constitutional law from the University of Nottingham. In 2017 Keith returned to the GSD and contested the leadership election of the Party obtaining the support of 61% of votes cast. He has been GSD Leader since the election result was announced during the late evening on 30 November 2017. 

Since becoming Leader Keith has been engaged in restructuring the Party, broadening the participation in it, undertaking community outreach, developing policy rethink processes and overhauling the communications strategy.

“I want to renew and rebuild this Party, make it more dynamic and responsive and with fresh energy ensure it becomes a clear alternative to Government.”

For up to date news and comment follow Keith on twitter @keith_azopardi

Meet the Team

Freddie Ballester

Party Chairman

Freddie is a family man the father of three children, he is a retired businessman.

Having been involved in politics since the mid 60’s as a member of the Young AACR party, Freddie joined the GSD in 1993 where he served in the party’s executive till 2013.

During his lifetime, he has been involved in betting and gaming industry. From 1974 - 2000 he was managing director of a local betting shop chain, he was pioneer of Online Gaming in Gibraltar, having acquired the first ever betting and gaming licence back in 1990.

In 2003 he became a director of Party Gaming, the first Gibraltar company to have been listed in the footsie 100.

In 2005 he was appointed chairman of the Gibraltar Betting & Gaming Association, and in 2007 vice-chairman of the Interactive Gaming Council and International Gaming body.

As a proud Gibraltarian he has always had Gibraltar’s interests very much at heart and has not wasted any opportunity of promoting Gibraltar as a safe and well regulated Gaming Jurisdiction, as well as a tourist destination, whilst attending numerous Gaming conferences abroad.

Freddie has been absent from frontline politics for almost 5 years, but following discussions with Party Leader Keith Azopardi he is now delighted to have once again been given the opportunity of rejoining the party that he served wholeheartedly in the run-up to the 1996 election win and beyond.

As party chairman, he looks forward with great enthusiasm, in assisting Keith Azopardi with the rebuilding and unification of the party, so as to produce a strong and viable alternative to the current administration.

A great believer in social justice and equal opportunities (regardless of political affiliation).

Freddie very much looks forward to a GSD government which will introduce a robust well structured career training programme so that young persons who may not wish to further their studies at university are able to undergo training programmes that will enable them to acquire skills in other areas, such as carpentry, plumbing, electricity,catering etc, which are so much in demand nowadays.

Youth are not just Gibraltar’s future, they are very much already Gibraltar’s present generation, let us then fulfil our part of the equation and equip them with the right tools and skills so that they too can face the challenges ahead.

Damon Bossino

2019 Candidate

Damon is a barrister by profession and is married to Rosa. He is the proud father of three lovely children.

Damon is no stranger to politics. He has been involved in political activity since he was a teenager having had a passion for politics from a very young age. He was elected into Parliament in 2011 and served as a GSD MP until 2015. During that time he shadowed many areas of Government responsibility such as tourism, transport, financial services, employment and training. Damon also served as Deputy Leader of the party.

I have decided to put my name forward for election to Parliament because I very strongly believe that Gibraltar needs a change. Many of us are seeing how there is large scale squandering of our finances. What is worse you are not being told how your money is being spent. We are also seeing how our land is being sold left, right and centre to private developers without proper regard for our heritage and living environment.

Monies should not be spent on multi-million pound No6 refurbishments or music festivals. Spending must be responsible and properly prioritised on those things which people really need. I am very excited, for example, with our plans to relocate and purpose build a new St Bernadette’s; to review the allowances for those who care for the vulnerable; to adopt an autism strategy; to have classroom aides in all class rooms in primary and middle schools. Many of our innovative ideas do not require much or any expenditure, such as the proposed new A&E style walk-in at Ocean Views or the review of legislation to empower special educational needs children, young people and their parents or carers.

For these and many other reasons, we need to wrest Gibraltar back from this Government.

I am excited that with our programme for Government and our committed and experienced team of individuals we can and will make Gibraltar a better place.

Roy Clinton

Member of Parliament

I entered politics in 2015 after deciding that the message that the GSLP/Liberal Government was giving about the state of our public finances needed to be challenged.

In the General Election held on 26 November 2015 I was elected to the Gibraltar Parliament and currently have the following areas in my shadow ministerial portfolio as a member of HM Opposition: The Economy, Public Finance, Inwards Investment, the Gibraltar Savings Bank, Small Business, Public Sector Efficiency & Procurement, Telecoms, E-Government and Civil Contingencies.

Having qualified as a Chartered Accountant and worked in banking for most of my professional career I feel I am uniquely qualified to hold the Government to account on its management of our public finances. In my view the Government is failing to be transparent on the use of public money channelled via wholly owned companies and is failing to properly disclose the true level of public debt, the prime example being the £300 million mortgage of public housing estates which the Government denies is public debt.

The people of Gibraltar deserve to have complete transparency over our public finances and I have made it my mission to deliver that.

Daniel Feetham

Member of Parliament

Daniel has been involved in politics for many years. From 2002 to 2006 he formed part of the Gibraltar delegation, which travelled annually to the UN to set out Gibraltar’s position on sovereignty and decolonization. From 2003 to 2006 he also formed part of the Gibraltar delegation that negotiated a new constitutional relationship with the UK. Under that the new Constitution, Justice became the responsibility of the Gibraltar Government and Daniel become Gibraltar’s first Minister for Justice, serving as such from 2007 to 2011. During that time he was responsible for steering fundamental reforms to the Justice system in areas as diverse as child protection and Insolvency legislation. The Court complex was also expanded and a new prison completed.

In 2011 he became Deputy Leader of the GSD and then Leader in 2013. He served as Leader of the Opposition until 2017.

On domestic affairs he has always been a firm defender of workers rights and has been extreme critical of the Government’s huge spending and borrowing program since 2011 which he consistently warned is unsustainable and potentially jeopardizes the quality of life and standard of living for workers in the future.

Daniel has also been a proponent of equality in the area of sexual orientation at a time when it was not considered “politically safe” to do so. In 2008 he presented a private members bill to equalize the age of consent and later a Government bill to do so. In addition, under his leadership in Parliament, the entire GSD parliamentary team also voted in favour of civil partnerships and gay marriage in 2013 and 2016.

Trevor Hammond

Member of Parliament

I am the father of two sons of whom, like any parent, I am immensely proud. Professionally I have been the Manager of Gibraltar's Air Traffic Control team for nearly ten years, the first Gibraltarian to hold the position. The role requires a deep technical understanding of safety issue, the principles of which apply across many industries, aviation often leading the way, and it was concerns over the way safety was being managed that fired up my interest to get involved in politics.

The Environmental agenda is very important to me, Gibraltar really must improve it's environmental management, Our Environment has a direct impact on public health and so it is something we must all take extremely seriously.

I have been a member of Parliament for over two years with shadow responsibility for the Environment, Transport, Infrastructure and Energy, Brexit, Planning and Health and Safety. More recently I have taken on the further responsibilities for Tourism, Civil Contingencies and the Port.

While wide ranging there are many connections to be made within this range of portfolios and they represent an opportunity to ensure an overview is taken when making policy so that our community can be developed safely and with a healthy regard for the environment. I believe it is essential to listen to the views expressed by the community when considering how Gibraltar is developed and use those views to shape GSD policy. I also strongly believe in the role of Opposition to hold Government to account, an essential role in a democracy and a role I take extremely seriously, never shying away from the task.

Joelle Ladislaus

2019 Candidate

Having obtained my undergraduate degree from the University of Leeds in 2008 I then completed my vocational training at the University of the West of England, Bristol, to become a Barrister in 2009. I was subsequently employed by the Examinations Department of the University of Leeds for a few months following my vocational training, until I returned home to Gibraltar in 2010. I have been a litigator ever since and have a broad range of experience in different areas of law, inclusive of family, crime, employment and constitutional law, all of which centre around the rights, freedoms and interests of people. Most importantly, I’m a mother to my fantastic 2 year old daughter and a wife to my supportive husband.
I have always had a keen interest in social policy and having my daughter has put into perspective the concerns which I have long held about the future of our community. As I reflected and looked around me, I realised that I could no longer accept the gross underrepresentation of women in political parties, and indeed in Parliament and I could no longer sit back passively when I believe that I have something to contribute, and indeed to give back, to our society. With that in mind, I have set out on this campaign with the betterment of Gibraltar for all our people at the very forefront of my mind, because we and our future generations all deserve a better tomorrow. As we navigate the turbulent waters of Brexit in the near future, it will be more important than ever to stand united as a people. Together we can make change happen, and change begins with a single step. My first step is to run in this election, I hope yours will be to support us and our vision for the future. Thank you.

Elliott Phillips

Member of Parliament

Elliott is a father, family man, Barrister and partner at Signature Litigation LLP, an international commercial litigation firm of Barristers and Solicitors operating in Gibraltar and London.

Having been involved in politics from an early age, Elliott was elected to the Gibraltar Parliament on 26 November 2015. As a member of Her Majesty's Opposition, Elliott was appointed as Shadow Minister for Justice amongst other portfolios.On 4 December 2017 Elliott was appointed by the newly elected Leader of the Party as its Parliamentary Leader.. Elliott's new responsibility also includes heavy shadow responsibilities for housing, health, care, social services, youth, families and children. Elliott is also responsible for the development of drugs policy.

Elliott is passionate about our young people, skills and the creation of golden standard apprenticeship programme which has, at its heart, the development of building future skills for existing and emerging business. Elliott wants to help build a Gibraltar where all our citizens, irrespective of background, are provided with the best possible opportunity to prosper and succeed. Elliott believes that we should invest heavily in the development of skills in the traditional crafts and modern technologies, so that our people are the best candidates to take on those opportunities. Our job is to help develop the environment for opportunity to thrive, thereby providing our children with rewarding and fulfilling lives. Every one of our children represents an opportunity, not only for our community, but for outwardly looking Gibraltar as a whole.

Edwin Reyes

Member of Parliament

I was first elected into Parliament as a GSD Candidate in 2007 and held the Ministerial Portfolios for Culture, Heritage, Sports & Leisure. During my subsequent two terms in Parliament on the Opposition Benches I have also shadowed several Ministries and currently concentrate in assisting my colleagues upon matters related to Education, Training, Housing, Sports & Leisure, Culture, Civil Contingencies and Social Services. It has also been my privilege to represent our Parliament in various Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conferences at both Regional and Plenary levels.

Before entering politics I was a teacher by profession and taught in Middle and Secondary Schools. My last five years in education were based at the Department of Education and Training where I headed the Government’s Training Unit and also carried out duties as Project Manager for various locally based European Social Fund ventures.

I have derived great job satisfaction in being able to represent my constituents during the three terms I have now served in Parliament and still continue to have the same motives of achieving a better and prosperous Gibraltar for the benefit of our children and future generations.

Orlando Yeats

2019 Candidate

I have a son and like any parent, I am immensely proud. I am a Business and Marketing Graduate and passionate about implementing business efficiencies and improving business systems.

My professional career started in the Gibraltar Office in London as Marketing Executive and Political Helper. This is where my interest in politics began, I worked side by side with the team there on the UK effort on the 2002 referendum where we ran an extremely successful PR campaign to collect support from UK parliamentarians . The role at the London Office was always a varied role and I was also tasked with promoting Gibraltar Internationally as a tourist and business conference destination at leading expo events such as Confex and the World Travel Market. During my final years in London I was head hunted and worked as a Client Partner for a leading Human Resources company where I was trained as an employment guidance counsellor and recruitment specialist. On my return to Gibraltar in 2008 I opened various food and beverage outlets in the Marina Bay Area and have been involved in small to medium size businesses ever since.

I have always taken a keen interest in local and international current affairs so I decided to join the GSD, being a firm believer in fairness and social justice which are some of the GSD’s main core values I knew I’d found my political home in the GSD. Shortly after I was promoted into the executive committee. When Keith Azopardi was elected leader of the party I was appointed to Head of Communications and subsequently re-elected into the party executive in 2018.

Putting my name forward for the General Election candidature was a tough call after the recent birth of my son but I am lucky to count on the amazing support and encouragement of my wife Julia and the rest of my close family. I believe in the GSD team led by Keith Azopardi and its long term vision for Gibraltar.

It is a great honour for me to stand beside such an experienced team of people who have served our community selflessly throughout the years. It is also not lost on me that I am representing one of the biggest and most successful political parties in Gibraltar’s history - an extremely humbling reality.

I feel I can offer expertise as an elected member on Business, Employment, Tourism & Culture due to my experience and professional background.

Tarik El-Yabani

Membership Secretary

With his first vote looming in 2011, Tarik took an interest in politics for the first time and discovered a passion for it. Since the age of 18, he held a very active role in local politics, in turn being one of the first Gibraltarians of Moroccan descent to become actively involved. He decided to take a break after the by-election in 2013, but joined the GSD as a member not long after that, dissatisfied with the direction the existing GSLP/Liberal government was taken Gibraltar in.

Since his involvement, Tarik has become a passionate (and sometimes vociferous) advocate for greater transparency and openness. Identifying himself as a libertarian, he believes strongly in the need to further advance social and economic freedoms and democracy. With Keith Azopardi’s message strongly resonating with him, he joined the effort to rejuvenate and strengthen the party and was subsequently appointed the party’s Membership Secretary.

He has previously been interviewed and appeared on the local and international press, such as the BBC and the Economist. He derives great satisfaction from helping others, a primary reason for his involvement in politics. Outside of politics, he is a keen and accomplished musician, having served with the Royal Gibraltar Regiment and principal instructor for the Gibraltar Sea Scouts Pipe Band. Professionally, he is a Sales Manager for a prominent local business.

Follow Tarik on Twitter: @GibralTarik91