"The statement by the GSD about the ownership of The New People newspaper, suggesting it is owned by Fabian Picardo, is entirely wrong."
The Executive Committee has said that all of the accusations and allegations in the GSD press release are completely false and misleading.
'In fact, the ownership of the shares of The New People has, since the inception of that newspaper, in the 1980s been held by the leader from time to time of the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party on trust for the Executive Committee and Members of the GSLP.'
The statement continues to say that Mr Picardo, as incumbent Leader of the GSLP, holds the shares on trust for the Executive Committee and members of the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party, and not in his personal capacity.
'Mr Picardo is therefore a ‘bare nominee’ in the context of the holding of the shares.'
'Given that Trusts are not reflected on the register, as provided for explicitly by Section 186 of the Companies Act 2014, the fact that the shares are held by Mr Picardo in trust is therefore not reflected (nor reflectable) on the corporate register nor on the register of Ultimate Beneficial Ownership.'
'Mr Picardo and the GSLP could have chosen – as was provided for in the establishment of the Register of Ultimate Beneficial Ownership – not to have disclosed any information on the UBO register. The Party and the Party Leader chose to disclose the holding structure in order to ensure that we complied with our views on transparency and accountability on corporate structures – something on which the GSLP and Mr Picardo have led since the election of the party into Government, together with the Gibraltar Liberal Party, in 2011.'
'In the light of the fact that Mr Picardo does not own the shares in the holding vehicle of The New People, there is no question of him having to disclose his trusteeship on the register of members interests and no ‘dereliction’ as improperly alleged by the GSD, in Mr Picardo not having done so.'
The leader of the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party, and Chief Minister of Gibraltar, Hon Fabian Picardo QC MP, said: “These allegations are part of a deeply personalised campaign being waged against me as Chief Minister by the GSD, whilst at the same time they want to pretend to be ‘gentlemen politicians’. In fact, they are dirtier and less scrupulous than any of their predecessors. The GSD are once again, characteristically playing the disgusting game of attempted character assassination against me that they played against Sir Joe Bossano in the 1990s. Unable to beat the GSLP when it comes to policies, effectiveness or ability, they seek to denigrate me as party leader and our other Members of Parliament to make up for the obvious inadequacies of their own elected representatives. They will not succeed. We will continue to do our work as the GSLP’s Members of Parliament which the people of Gibraltar elected us to do by a massive margin over the GSD. The fact that the GSD seem not to understand the basics of Company law will not deter us at all, in fact, it will spur us on to ensure that we keep working for our people."