Thursday, 16 June 2011

Picardo in London meetings after trip to UN in New York

GIBRALTAR (Panorama) On his way back to Gibraltar from attending the UN in New York, the Leader of the Opposition, Fabian Picardo MP (photo), spent Tuesday afternoon at the House of Commons in London in a series of top level talks. The first meeting was with Wayne David MP, the Shadow Minister for Europe. Mr David had sent Mr Picardo his congratulations when he was elected GSLP leader and this was a first opportunity to meet and discuss Gibraltar matters, in particular the issue of designation of Gibraltar waters by Spain and the EU Court case, as well as the regular incursions by official Spanish vessels. They agreed to keep in regular contact in relation to matters affecting Gibraltar.>
Mr Picardo also held meeting with Eleanor Laing MP who is the special representative to Gibraltar on Defence matters. The meeting had been arranged when Ms Laing was in Gibraltar last week and concentrated on issues relating to her brief on Defence.

The Leader of the Opposition was also delighted to accept an invitation from Jim Dobbins MP, the Chairman of the Gibraltar Group in Parliament, to address its members.

Commenting on the meeting of the Gibraltar Group, Mr Picardo said: “I took the opportunity to brief those assembled about the issues that had arisen in New York at the UN Committee of 24 and of the remarkable statement by the Spanish Ambassador characterising Gibraltarians as 'Colonials by Consent', and the reply which I had been able to give immediately.

"I was delighted with the warm reception from the Group and the kind remarks made by all about my immediate predecessor. I agreed to maintain close contact with the Group going forward.”

He also met again with Lindsey Hoyle MP – an old friend of Gibraltar. Mr Hoyle, the Labour MP for Chorley, is the current Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons and had just finished a session in the Speaker's Chair on a debate before meeting Mr Picardo.

The meeting of the Gibraltar Group was Chaired by long term friend of Gibraltar, Lord Douglas Hoyle, a freeman of the City of Gibraltar.

Mr Picardo also took the opportunity to hold a series of meetings with a leading think tank and Labour Party officials who he briefed on Gibraltar issues.

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