An Opposition question about hot school lunches yesterday ended in heated and angry exchanges in Parliament.
With his microphone off, Justice Minister Gilbert Licudi was heard to utter a profanity as he told independent MP Marlene Hassan Nahon to “get your f***ing facts right”.
The exchange started innocuously enough between the GSD and Mr Licudi as Elliott Phillips asked what stage the government was at in delivering its hot lunches manifesto commitment.
Mr Licudi told him that the government was currently preparing for a consultation process with parents, head teachers and their unions.
Mrs Hassan Nahon interjected and told the House that when she had tabled the same question four months ago, she had been told that the consultation was on-going and therefore sought clarification as to what stage the commitment was at.
Tense and angry exchanges ensued, culminating in Mr Licudi producing Hansard which proved that Mrs Hassan Nahon was “completely wrong” and that he had provided the same answer four months ago.
“How on earth can the Hon. Lady come to this House and start accusing members of the government of giving a different answer now to what was given four months ago without doing any of her homework?” Mr Licudi asked, clearly irate.
The heated episode came to a head when Mr Licudi demanded Mrs Hassan Nahon apologise before he sat down and, away from the microphone, could be heard aiming an expletive at her.
She immediately called him up on his language before the Speaker of the House, Adolfo Canepa, interjected and told Mr Licudi to “calm down”.
Following the exchange Mrs Hassan Nahon took to social media where she told her followers on Twitter that she had been verbally abused by the Justice Minister and labelled him a “bully”.
Later, in a statement, she slammed his “shocking and abusive language” and said she would be lodging a formal complaint.