The GSD announces today the re-admission of Lawrence Llamas MP as a GSD member and parliamentarian and the co-option of former GSD MP and Deputy Leader, Damon Bossino, as a member of the Executive. Today’s announcement culminates discussions over recen tmonths in the context of GSD Leader Keith Azopardi’s desire to encourage the renewed participation of members and former members of the Party. Mr Llamas stood on a GSD ticket at the last General Election. The circumstances surrounding his resignation were regrettable and the mutual desire that Mr Llamas should return to the Party demonstrates a resolve to move forward and draw a line under that history. The GSD is Mr Llamas’ natural political home and he subscribes to its core values and policies. This underlying fact has therefore made his return all that much easier for him and for the Executive to approve. He has also confirmed his commitment to the agenda that Mr Azopardi has set out. Although out of front-line party politics, Mr Bossino has continued to be a member of the GSD, citing personal reasons for his decision not to seek re-election to Parliament in 2015.
The decision by both individuals to seek, on the one hand readmission and on the other renewed participation at senior level, is warmly welcomed by the Party. In Mr Llamas’ case his effectiveness as both a GSD and latterly independent MP is recognised. Over a short period of time he has been very active on environmental, educational and other areas of policy. His continuing contribution now within the GSD is for all these reasons welcome and something that the Party is looking forward to. Mr Bossino is of course no stranger to the political scene having stood with the party in the 2011 election and held a wide range of shadow portfolios during his time in Parliament. Mr Bossino brings with him the experience and perspective of having also been deputy leader of the party. His time out of the front-line has seen him participate in numerous interviews and debates on the Brexit issue in the local and international media as well as commenting on social media.
Mr Azopardi said:
“Lawrence and Damon will play important roles as part of the strengthened and reenergised GSD that I have been keen to rebuild. I have always said that in doing so I am building on the work of my predecessor Danny Feetham who worked tirelessly for the Party at its most difficult time and I am indebted to him for his past and continuing efforts. I will, in coming days reshape shadow ministerial responsibilities in the context of Lawrence’s return. These will be effective after the outstanding Question & Answer session that is due to start in Parliament tomorrow Friday. It is also my intention to ask Damon to take charge of specific extra-Parliamentary duties in certain areas in support of the Parliamentary team, the Executive and me. This is an exciting time for the GSD and all these developments will put us in a much better place to contest the next election. As far as we are concerned the sooner the election is called the better for all those people who are approaching us with real concerns about the Government’s management of Gibraltar’s social,economic or political affairs.”
Mr Llamas said:
“It is important that we come together to leverage the talents of ourteam in pursuit of the greater good. The greater good is served by the return to office of a renewed and reinvigorated GSD undertaking an honest, and forward looking renewal. It is clear that this can be best achieved as a united team.
During the last year I have, with support, done alot of work on a number of areas which, I believe, has moulded me into the politician I am today. I am excited about making a contribution as a GSD MP once again and to work hard for GSD members and constituents. I will also be investing my energy in rebuilding my working relationship with MPs andExecutive and other members.”
Mr Bossino said:
“Mr Azopardi has made clear his ambition that the party unify and re-energise. A lot of work has been done and more needs to be done in preparation for the next general election. We have today seen changes at the parliamentary level with Mr Llamas’ return and we have the forthcoming AGM on 24th May to look forward to. All of this comes in the wake of the appointment of Mr Ballester and Mr El Yabani as the Chairman and Membership Secretary recently. I hope to make a further contribution to the renewal of the party and help in making it a real and attractive option for Government next time round.”