Labour MP Manuel Mallia resigned from Parliament on Tuesday, with the lawyer set to be appointed as Malta’s High Commissioner to London.
First elected in 2013, Mallia initially served as Home Affairs Minister – a role he was forced to step down from by then Prime Minister Joseph Muscat after a shooting involving his driver was covered up – and as Minister for competitiveness.
In his farewell address, Mallia said that he was departing with a good conscience, having acted to the best of his abilities, with honesty, and without corruption and added that he was grateful that Muscat had acknowledged that his removal from his post in 2014 had been a mistake.
“I entered politics as a gentleman and want to leave as a gentleman’ he said, adding that politicians should treat everyone with respect and without demeaning them with harsh language – something which he said had led to a lack of respect to politicians and institutions.
Mallia called for an increase in pay for MPs and Ministers, saying that the pay for ministers as a ‘pittance’ and that low pay could lead to abuse.
He added that a revamp to the political system, particularly to avoid candidates being pitted against each other, should be considered.
In receiving his resignation letter, Speaker Anglu Farrugia thanked Mallia for his service and said that in carrying on in politics, despite the suffering, he had proven his integrity.
Mallia’s resignation comes into effect on Wednesday.