Mr Picardo has no answer to the point raised by the GSD and resorts to lies and red herrings. The basic unanswerable point is that in the midst of an Inquiry into the events of 2020 in which Mr Picardo is accused of wrongdoing he has scandalously given a job to a main participant in the discussions with Mr McGrail. That is wholly inappropriate and smacks of keeping him sweet while difficult things are to be decided upon. That is undeniably the perception. The idea that Mr Pyle has been appointed for his expertise is farcical and simply a convenient narrative given the other surrounding circumstances. Indeed, when asked in Parliament about how this had come about Mr Picardo said that it was “simply…because Mr Pyle indicated that he was staying in the area and therefore he’s doing this and other jobs in the area.”
Leader of the Opposition, Keith Azopardi said: “It would be unimaginable for a serving UK prime minister accused of wrongdoing to offer a job to another key figure in the middle of an Inquiry before the case has been heard. That would be roundly condemned as a wholly inappropriate move.
Mr Picardo is now desperately trying to say anything to survive and to divert from those undeniable perceptions. He has even gone as far as falsely saying that the GSD is smearing civil servants by talking about Mr Pyle. The thousands of Gibraltar civil servants won’t feel it is a smear campaign to name Mr Pyle, the former Deputy Governor, because he’s been offered a job by Mr Picardo. Many of those thousands of civil servants will think it is strange that Mr Pyle is being paid at a rate higher than the Chief Secretary when there are hundreds of civil service and public sector vacancies. If there is anyone devaluing our civil servants or undermining our public service and institutions it is Mr Picardo. There are former Chief Secretaries and other senior civil servants who will have a clearer grasp of the challenges of our public service who will also feel it is strange to see Mr Pyle’s appointment.
Of course, we understand that Mr Picardo should want to raise red herrings and smokescreens in a bid to save his skin. But after 12 years people are used to his tactics. He plays the man and not the ball and in an endless tirade of half- truths, twists, spin or downright lies. It’s time for him to leave and the sooner the better. If there are questions about fitness to govern these are now squarely about him. He sees nothing wrong with what he is doing, he is mired in conflicts and fighting desperately for political survival in the face of crisis after crisis.”