An analysis of Theresa May's cabinet reshuffle. The latest on the BBC gender pay gap story. Could Oprah Winfrey run for president? And a look at corruption in Malta.
Browse content similar to 08/01/2018. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Which Theresa May was it to be?
A bold Theresa May,
clearing out the Cabinet,
refreshing the government
with a reshuffle?
Or a cautious Theresa May,
gently tidying the edges?
Probably, in the end, it was meant
to be a cautious reshuffle,
but it turned out not to quite be
the one Theresa May wanted.
We'll ask what it means
for the Prime Minister,
and the future of her government.
In July 2017, I discovered the
enormous gap that the two men who
were international editors were
earning 50% more, at least, than the
two women who were international
Months on, and the BBC
pay row is unsolved.
We'll ask, how come?
Is it really that hard to crack?
Three months after the murder
of this investigative
journalist in Malta,
we're back on the island
to ask the Prime Minister
what impact her death had on him.
She was a very specific risk critic
of many people. I might have been
top of that list. And this doesn't
the good on me. I'm very realistic
Ladies and gentlemen, the
first Lady President of the United
We'll hear why America is abuzz
with talk that Oprah Winfrey
might run for President.
A lot of government
reshuffles don't go smoothly.
Today's was no exception.
There was the tweeting
of Chris Grayling's
elevation to Chairman
of the Conservative Party,
when the job in fact
went to Brandon Lewis.
But that on its own wouldn't
make for a great episode
of The Thick of It.
The real issue was that
Theresa May had built this
up as a major refresh,
and an assertion of her
But, in the end, it didn't quite
live up to that expectation, partly,
as it turned out,
because she could not make
all the changes she wanted.
So let's have a quick look
at the comings and goings: the big
star of the reshuffle
is David Lidington -
a little-known name,
he is the new Damian Green,
but will not be called
First Secretary of State
or Deputy Prime Minister.
He does have a big and
central role as the Prime
Minister's right-hand man.
But some other notable reshuffle
names were two men that didn't move:
Jeremy Hunt stays in health,
but gets a bigger departmental name:
Health and Social Care.
And Greg Clark stays
at the business department,
despite there being a lot of chatter
about him being kicked out.
The Prime Minister couldn't shuffle
them, nor the education
secretary Justine Greening.
She's gone from Cabinet,
after refusing to move
from education to the Work
and Pensions department.
The DWP now goes to Ester McVey,
a one-time TV presenter,
who has worked as a junior minister
in the department.
Well, our political editor
Nick Watt is with me.
To me, it seems like a lot of people
are resisting the kind of plans
Theresa May may have them, an
unusual number of affected by them?
Yes, it has happened in the past
that ministers say I don't want to
move, and a weak Prime Minister
caves, and a strong Prime Minister
says no. Today was a score draw for
Theresa May because she said yes to
Jeremy Hunt who wanted to stay at
health, and no to Justine Greening.
Tory members are being pretty
critical, she started out as Michael
Howard said this morning strong and
able to do what you wanted and by
this evening showing she perhaps
can't fully assert her authority.
But on day two of the reshuffle
tomorrow, the junior in the middle
ranks, we are told we will see many
more women, many more younger people
and much more Tory MPs from black
and minority ethnic minorities and
crucially the number of women
attending Cabinet goes up from eight
OK, David Liddington, a big
Euro fan, a known Remainer and he
has this key role.
That's right, he
has the big Brexit role, and it is
chairing a series of Cabinet
committees on Brexit and domestic
policy whether Prime Minister is not
so focused, so she can focus
absolutely on the Brexit
negotiations and the domestic policy
of national security and the
economy. Now, he hasn't got the
first Secretary of State title, and
ministers who have gone to the
Cabinet Office with a great fanfare,
if they don't have something to tell
Whitehall they are a big beast, they
normally run into trouble. But David
Lidington has two things that tell
Whitehall he's a big beast. David
Lidington. He is well known and he
is well respected. So I've been
looking at this very long day that
didn't quite go to plan.
It has been a torrid six months for
Theresa May. Today was the moment
for the Prime Minister to finally
assert her authority over her
government and party after the
disastrous general election setback.
It all started so well when the
Prime Minister stood on the steps of
Downing Street to show off the new
group of MPs she hopes will
rejuvenate the Conservative Party.
But as the day wore on, the
reshuffle is started, and this
evening the Prime Minister was
shaken by the surprise resignation
of Justine Greening. Who spurned the
offer of a move to the Department
for Work and Pensions during a
two-hour visit to number ten. I
understand Theresa May and Justine
Greening have had a troubled
relationship. One person who knows
the Prime Minister's Mind told me
that she never really believed that
the outgoing Education Secretary had
signed up to many of the Tory school
reforms. For her part, Justine
Greening is furious with what she
regarded as negative press reports
about her in recent weeks. Over the
weekend, she told friends that she
was blaming Boris Johnson for
leading the charge against her,
after she raised questions about the
handling of Brexit in cabinet
meetings. Conservative MPs are
complaining to me that Theresa May
has emerged diminished from this
reshuffle after the resignation of
Justin Greening, and because other
ministers successfully resisted some
of the Prime Minister's original
plans. Jeremy Hunt spent more than
an hour in Downing Street, pleading
with the Prime Minister to keep his
job as Health Secretary, as he
resisted a proposed move to the
business department. The Prime
Minister eventually relented, and
finally granted him his wish, to be
given the additional responsibility
of social care. Others said Theresa
May has emerged from today
I have described her as
Zebedee, because she is someone who
just pops up and has incredible
resilience, against all the odds. If
you look at all the difficulties
following the election, everything
that has happened since, she seems
to still be there, and I think she
made the right decision by having a
cabinet reshuffle at the beginning
of the year. Stamp her authority to
set an agenda from day one.
Prime Minister learned today that
shuffling the pack is always a
fraught business. Where a bold
Theresa May sacked a series of
ministers on her first day in
Downing Street, 18 months later a
more timid Prime Minister trod
gingerly around this most delicate
We were due to be joined now
by the Tory MP Grant Shapps,
but he's been held up in parliament
at a vote.
We'll move on, and we'll
try to get to him later,
if the wheels of democracy start
moving more quickly.
In case you thought the BBC
gender pay controversy,
which erupted last summer,
had gone away, it hasn't!
It re-emerged last night
with the resignation
of Carrie Gracie as the BBC's China
It was one of those
"only at the BBC" days -
she resigned from that post
on Sunday, then presented the Today
programme on Radio 4 this morning.
But the real effect
of Carrie Gracie's move
is to highlight just how hard
the BBC is finding it
to solve the problem that
became evident last year.
# Money makes the world go round,
the world go round...
It is ironic that Easy Jet
published its own paygap last week,
far bigger than the BBC's -
but it has a clearer excuse.
Yes, women employees
earn 45% less than men -
but that is mainly accounted
for by the fact that few women
are pilots, and many of them
are flight attendants.
Flight attendants get
paid less than pilots.
Nothing illegal about that,
as long women pilots and women
flight attendants get the same
as their male counterparts.
When I started the China job, I said
I would only do this job if I am
paid equally. And in July 2017I
discovered the enormous gap that the
two men who were international
editors were earning 50% more, at
least, than the two women who were
But Carrie Gracie's scathing
critique of the BBC is that she -
and many other women -
are getting less for
the same job as men.
Can the BBC defend that?
We did ask to speak to the BBC
today, but nobody was available.
In a statement, the organisation
said that fairness in pay was vital,
and that the BBC was performing
better than some
The BBC has conducted
a judge-led audit of the pay
of most of its staff,
and is now doing a separate
review of on-air staff.
I'm joined now by lawyer
Jennifer Millins, who is
representing several of the women
taking cases against the BBC.
Also here is Sian Kevill -
she's a TV executive who used to be
the editor of Newsnight,
before going on to be
the director of BBC World News.
A very good evening to you both.
Jennifer, look, the review, is there
an argument here, the BBC is
reviewing on-air talent, they are
just waiting until that is out of
the way until the do anything. Is
that a fair defence?
It is certainly
going to feed into a number of the
complaint and may give some answers
to some of those complaints. It may
just fuel the fire, though. We have
seen with the equal pay audits that
came out in October that very
studiously set-aside on-air talent
is being a little bit difficult to
deal with, that actually those
reports can themselves lead to
further questions about pay
disparity. Certainly there was a lot
made this morning by the BBC of the
fact there is no systematic
discrimination at the BBC, as Sir
Justice Alliance said, Patrick Alaia
said in his report last October,
when he was looking at the ABC equal
pay audits, but he also said that
did not rule out individual cases of
So systematic bias
was ruled out.
And that excluded
on-air talent completely.
you were a manager, how difficult
was it to Sepe in a way that was
deemed to be fair, and comparative?
It is a very tricky position on pay.
As a manager, when you are giving
somebody a job, the first thing you
have to do is they come in with a
pay level, and that could have been
determined by all sorts of factors
way beyond your control. They may
have been tried to have been poached
at one point, they may have gone
into war zones, which required a
higher salary, they may have worked
in an area where it was highly
competitive. So you come in with
somebody with a salary, and then you
have to decide, you're very unlikely
to it. If somebody comes in with a
very low salary, you may give them a
huge increase but it is still not
comparable. And you have a duty to
try to defend the licence fee and
not just handed out. You want to
keep as much as you can to put on
screen as opposed to giving it to
Is a US edit of the same job
as the China editor, because I know
in a way that is Carrie Gracie's
argument, these are two
international editors, one is a man,
one is a woman?
I was quite shocked
when I heard about the disparity.
Listening to the coverage today. And
I think it is difficult when you
have a job title which is the same.
When you have a same job title, it
does seem to denote that you have
roughly the same sort of salary, and
even Carrie wasn't asking for
absolute equivalents. There could
have been some disparity, the scale
of the disparity. So are the
differences between the two jobs?
Well, there are, but it is very
difficult, it is incredibly
difficult to try and work out
whether covering the manic stuff
going on in the Trump White House is
the same as dealing with the
oppression of a Chinese regime.
Jennifer, you would agree that if
some reason the BBC created a
Kazakhstan editor of not be the same
job as a US edit or a China editor,
and with that excepted legally when
you sit down and give legal advice?
There is a whole melting pot of
factors as to whether there is legal
equivalents for men and women in
their jobs and in pay. That is why
these claims are very difficult to
bring but they are also pretty
difficult to defend, as well. There
is a fact -based analysis that
explicit that really values the
worth of the individual, as compared
to the e-mail they are comparing
What is your
advice to the BBC as to how to deal
with this, because they don't want
to spend money, they have an
obligation to the licence payer,
difficult to go to the men and say,
put your salaries down, or maybe
they should do that, and difficult
to find all the money that the women
are claiming. What is your advice?
is an issue of the BBC not wanting
to spend money and not wanting to
spend more licence fee payers' money
but this is an issue about money,
Carrie was clear she didn't want to
be paid more, she wanted equality
but it boils down to the issue of
pay and how much people are paid,
and the legal redress for these
claims is to address that through
pay, applying a pay equality clause.
That take some time as well.
of up to six years.
That could be
It could well be and if I
were advising the BBC I would say
they need to deal with individual
complaints properly which they have
struggled to do so far in genuine
fashion, but also they need to look
at their own data and not just quote
them gender pay statistics, which is
a different issue and a different
analysis, but to look at their
statistics. They have all the data,
the individuals don't have that
I'm afraid we need to leave it
there, thank you both indeed. We are
going to go back to politics now and
Grant Shapps can join as. He was
Tory Party Chairman and David
Cameron and was outed last year as
being the ringleader of a failed
plot to remove Theresa May as Prime
He's finished voting
and joins me from Westminster.
Good evening. What was your
impression of the reshuffle, how was
I'm not sure having a
group of colleagues that wanted to
talk to the Prime Minister qualifies
as a plot. But, look, I thought
clearly, let's be blunt, it wasn't a
brilliantly executed performance
with the reshuffle today. They are
very difficult things to get right
as I recall from time spent when I
was chairman inside Downing Street
looking out. But actually buried in
the reshuffle I thought there were a
couple of really good ideas, which I
suspect won't quite get the coverage
tomorrow. But I hope will matter in
the long run. One of which was
creating a Ministry of Housing,
Communities and Local Government. I
used to be housing Minister and
always thought it was ridiculous
that housing didn't have its own
seat around the table as Secretary
of State in Cabinet and that was
really good. The other move which I
thought was quite smart but will
take some working out is taking
health, Jeremy Hunt is there still,
but bringing in social care, which
although not everyone will know the
complexities of this, actually comes
from local councils at the moment,
and that means it's actually under
what was Communities and Local
Government. The problem is you get
bed blocking of the problems you
hear about and bringing those
together makes sense.
I was confused
on both of those because I thought
housing was in the DCLG, so it's
just a rebranding, and I thought a
lot of social care was in the
Department of Health, so that was a
On the first one you are
absolutely right, housing was in
DCLG, Communities and Local
Government, but I can say this as a
fact, when sitting around the
Cabinet table people respond to the
thing they think is most on your
agenda, and by calling it the
Ministry of Housing, I noticed that
they said they will call it a
Ministry rather than a department,
by calling it a Ministry, which is
an historic name for that
department, will give a lot more
focus to what the government says is
one of its big priorities, building
more homes. I thought there was some
sense in that. And on social care
budget, no, the money actually comes
through the local council, the local
authority side of things, and that
makes it complicated.
Let me move on
because I want to ask you, do you
still think where we are now, that
she should step down, or do you
think it's time for her to pause? Do
you think there is enough young
talent to which the party and the
country being exposed, so that when
there a leadership election they can
skip a generation if they want to?
I'm probably more or less unique in
saying what I actually think about
it, my view hasn't changed, nor do I
think there is any point in banging
on about it, I want Theresa May does
exceed because I want the party to
succeed because I don't want to see
Jeremy Corbyn's Marxist government
come in and destroy lives and jobs
in this country. My view hasn't
changed but I also recognise there
is a lot of great talent. The other
good thing today was seeing some of
the talent, through, albeit perhaps
slightly odd to focus on the party
changes, which is where a lot of
that talent was seen. Whereas, it
must a couple of good changes in
part, which I think will take some
months and probably years to work
through the system but could
actually help deliver better health
and social care together and better
housing in this country. There was
good stuff strangely buried in a
reshuffle which didn't quite go to
Grant Shapps, thank you very
Could it really happen?
Oprah Winfrey as a US president?
The talk show queen is of course one
female TV presenter who literally
no-one thinks is badly remunerated -
and after a well-received speech
at the Golden Globes last night,
all the talk today is that she might
run for the White House in 2020.
A new day is on the horizon!
And when that new day finally dawns,
it will be because of a lot
of magnificent women,
many of whom are right
here in this room tonight!
Well, for liberals,
disheartened by Trump,
Oprah is a sense of hope
of a new popular champion
for their cause emerging.
This talk of President Winfrey
actually goes back some months,
but the bookies' odds have
shortened massively today.
Even though she has no
and has never run for,
or held, office, CNN says some
of her friends say she's
now considering a run.
If she did, and assuming
Donald Trump fancied a second term,
the 2020 US election would be quite
a battle - apart from both
being billionaire TV stars,
in every other respect the two
are almost comical opposites.
Let's discuss this.
Joining me from Atlanta
is Anoa Changa - she's an activist
and journalist who backed
Bernie Sanders in the last
Good evening to you. First of all,
will she ran?
Well, I think that's
up to Oprah, Oprah is definitely a
woman who has charted her own path
over the last several decades in her
career from good morning Chicago, to
her own show, to movies and this
whole empire she has built, so
whether or not she runs, we will all
wait to see what Oprah ultimately
does. Whether or not she should run,
I guess that will be up to her and
her confidence in her team whether
or not that is something she should
Delegate it to her, would you
like her to run? Would you be
wouldn't be super excited, I
wouldn't be upset but I really think
American voters need to get away
from our obsession with celebrity.
The focus on celebrity in the 2016
presidential general election here
really overshadowed the need to
focus on actual everyday Americans
and the issues that are affecting
people and doing real groundwork.
One of the flaws I saw with Hillary
Clinton, Secretary Clinton's
campaign, was relying heavily on
celebrity friends and supporters,
instead of actually getting out
there with the people. When you look
at battle ground states like Hohaia,
Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin
where she never campaigned people
were clamouring for the leadership
to talk to them, not necessarily the
charisma of the leadership at the
top -- Ohio. If Oprah were to run
and she was the person, hopefully
she would have policies and
initiatives on the table that would
really speak to the American public,
particularly those across the board
who are struggling, who are thinking
about jobs, education, climate
change, internationally, I'm sure,
you would all like to see a leader
that is taking so many things,
global security, into consideration.
Am I going to be super excited? No.
You say you have the policies would
be to the American people, but she
is someone who has a powerful
ability to speak to the American
people. She would surely engage a
lot of voters, wouldn't she? I
wonder whether she would win because
essentially there would be a lot of
voters who may be sometimes don't
vote who would come out and vote for
I don't know that a lot of
voters who didn't usually vote would
come out and vote for her. Again, we
saw so many celebrities come out on
the Trail, we had Katy Perry, major
firebrands, Jay-Z and Beyonce
throwing concerts in Cleveland in
2016 and still didn't see the voter
turnout. For Oprah or whoever
amongst the celebrity double crowd
who would step up to the challenge
of running for President, we would
really need to see them digging in
on the issues. Oprah gave a rousing
speech yesterday but we need more
than speeches, we have heard
wonderful eloquent people talk but
we need policies right now. We have
millions uninsured in America. I
just spent 14 hours in an ER
yesterday with my younger sister who
does not have health insurance.
Aintree is great but I need to know
what's going to be done to address
young students like my sister who
have conditions that need treatment
and they have to sit in an emergency
room for care.
Anoa Changa, your
scepticism has come across well.
Thank you so much indeed. Thanks.
Back in October,
an investigative journalist
was assassinated in Malta.
The death of Daphne Caruana Galizia
put the island in the headlines
for all the wrong reasons,
bringing international attention
to accusations of corruption
and organised crime.
Caruana Galizia had many enemies,
including the Maltese Prime
Minister, he condemned
the killing as barbaric,
and called on foreign
security services to help
with the investigation into it -
we'll hear from him shortly.
John Sweeney reported on the story
for us in the immediate aftermath,
and has been back to Malta.
Fortress Malta has for centuries
been virtually impregnable.
Foreign invaders repelled
by its defences,
an island standing alone
in the Mediterranean.
But now Malta is in danger
of falling to dirty money.
And the one journalist who dared
the most to tell their story
has been assassinated.
Daphne Caruana Galizia
spent her life asking questions of
those in power.
Questions about the sale
of passports, questions about
government corruption, questions
about a breakdown in the rule
Her assassination may have
silenced her, but the questions she
was asking, they haven't gone away.
What on earth is going on on Malta?
Daphne Caruana Galizia was Malta's
She was blown up in October driving
away from her house.
The fifth person to die in a car
bomb in seven years.
We're on our way to
the scene of the crime.
Three men have been charged.
They deny the murder.
Newspapers in Italy and Malta have
triangulated their whereabouts
by tracking mobile phone use at the
moment the bomb went off.
The police believe there
was a spotter on land on a hill
overlooking the road down
which Daphne Caruana Galizia
Once the spotter had
identified Daphne he then
phoned his accomplice.
He's the trigger man
and he's on a boat offshore.
The triggerman presses a button
and a remote-control device
explodes underneath Daphne's car.
And the journalist is dead.
The waters that
Daphne was fishing in
were much darker than
even she imagined.
The three accused worked
in a warehouse and had been
suspected of underworld activity.
They'd never crossed Daphne's radar.
Many suspect they were hired hands.
Daphne has never ever mentioned
these three persons in none of her
20,000 articles plus.
So, it's obvious, and
it's an open secret,
that these are not the persons who
commissioned the murder and we will
not rest until we know who
commissioned the murder and what was
Jason Azzopardi believes
the question is not who
carried out the killing
but who ordered the hit.
Over the years Daphne
worked on many stories and
made a lot of enemies
on the island and beyond.
At the time of her death Daphne
was working on four major
First, the sale of Maltese
passports, a trade worth 310
million euro to people
from outside the European Union.
Malta is the only state
in the EU that sells
passports so aggressively
in this fashion.
Some worry that many buying those
passports are dodgy and so is
their money, that Malta
is being used as a back door by rich
Russian gangsters and others
to enter the EU.
The passport scheme.
The source of corruption.
Who's buying these passports?
The majority, it seems to be
Russians and middle easterns, but
And are they honest
What I can say is that the due
diligence leaves much
to be desired, in the sense that the
European Commission demanded a
these people are barely
spending one-hour in Malta.
The passport trade brings
so many millions of
euros into government coffers that
the Prime Minister travels the world
flogging Maltese citizenship.
But Daphne's murder
has opened a can of
worms, and many of those worms
are at the heart of government.
Manuel Delia is a blogger
He hopes to carry on Daphne's work.
He's installed extra
security in his home.
The Prime Minister is
the front man for the
promotion and let's be clear,
they are selling European passports.
It's true it has an
Maltese coat of arms
on the front.
But this gives them freedom
of movement, of themselves
and of their capital
It's Republic Day on Malta.
Ties with Britain, the old colonial
power, still linger.
Prime Minister and passport
seller in Chief Joseph
Muscat reviews the troops.
Daphne's second target
was a group of senior
government figures, including
the Prime Minister's wife Michelle
Muscat, alleged to be making
use of secretive shell
companies in Panama.
The Panama Papers scandal revealed
that the Prime Minister's Chief of
Staff, Keith Schembri, and senior
minister Konrad Mizzi own shell
companies in Panama.
All concerned deny any wrongdoing.
One senior investigator
in the island's
anti-money-laundering unit was
looking into the scandal when he was
called in to his boss's office.
This summer you were
investigating two of
the Prime Minister's closest
associates and a company widely
believed to have been
owned by his wife.
What happened to you then?
They fired me and they
fired my colleague.
Was that a proper thing
for the government of Malta to do?
It is highly unethical
and we believe there was political
Were you got at by the
Prime Minister's office?
I don't know by whom
but for sure the
mastermind of this all wants
to keep things secret.
The suspicion is that the secretive
shell companies that
emerged in the Panama Papers
could be used to receive bribes.
Jonathan Ferris believes
there is something
rotten in the state of Malta.
He's got some police
protection but he's
all too aware of what could happen.
Following 16th October,
what happened to Daphne Caruana
Galizia, I sat down,
I divided my notes and
my workings and my information
into six different envelopes with
They are distributed to six
members of family, friends
and close friends, and should
something happen to me abruptly,
let's say I'm killed,
all that information
will go public at once.
Her third major investigation
was into Pilatus Bank, run by
Clients of the bank are believed
to include children of Ilham Aliyev
President of the fabulously corrupt
regime of Azerbaijan.
In her blog, Daphne argued
that Malta was fast
becoming world money-laundering
central and she leaked a report by
agency into the bank.
The report accused the bank
of turning a blind eye to
proper compliance and highlighted
systemic issues of grave concern.
After Daphne leaked that report,
the findings of a second report into
Pilatus Bank by the
That said that its shortcomings
no longer subsist.
The bank, which is housed in this
building in the letter, such the
second report and other
evidence to say the
allegations against it
false and baseless, and it
complies with all its
Daphne also alleged that
a whistle-blower told her that a
company owned by the Azerbaijan
President's daughter paid $1 million
to a Panama company owned by
the Prime Minister's wife, Michelle
All concerned deny any wrongdoing.
But the fear is that Malta
is making it too easy for
dirty money to get into the EU.
If you have nothing
to hide, you don't
go set up secret accounts in Panama.
You go to your local Barclays.
On Malta the rule
of law does not seem
to bite on the Prime
Minister and his clique.
A group of Euro MPs who visited
Malta after Daphne's murder
found there was a perception
of impunity on the island.
Roberta Metsola is a Maltese MEP.
What we mean by rule
of law is that the
that the government
is at the service of
judiciary and not
the other way round.
That when a crime is committed
you have to have faith in
law enforcement so that that crime
is investigated and solved.
That if you break any
rule of our criminal
or civil code then you are
prosecuted and you are made to pay
for what you've done.
Roberta Metsola says
Daphne was aware she
was getting into treacherous waters.
She has realised that
what she was doing was
dangerous and I think
came to a fateful and unfortunately,
and she was right.
This country will forever be
grateful for her work and
her sense of ignoring her personal
security in order to get the truth.
Daphne's fourth investigation raised
questions about the integrity of the
economics minister Chris Cardona.
She alleged that Mr Cardona
went to a brothel
whilst at a conference in Germany.
He sued, saying he was
in his hotel room.
Daphne got a court order
to obtain his mobile phone
records to pinpoint his whereabouts.
They've yet to be released,
but the case continues.
If Cardona loses, he is finished
as a politician and a lawyer.
Mr Cardona denied any wrongdoing,
and declined our request
for an interview, citing ongoing
legal proceedings, including his
libel action against
Daphne Caruana Galizia's estate.
There's a gang that has
taken over the government
of this country and that gang is
concerned with its self-preservation
and has eroded the power and
the authority of institutions that
should be independent of government.
Daphne Caruana Galizia shone a light
on Malta's dark underworld.
Her murder, was it
proof that she was onto
something, proof that someone
powerful wanted that light
Was it proof of Malta's shame?
John Sweeney there.
Government minister Konrad Mizzi
told the BBC that the Panamanian
company he owned had never traded
or had a bank account.
He said he had properly
declared his ownership
of the company in a ministerial
declaration of interests in 2015.
The Prime Minister's chief
of staff Keith Schembri said
that the Panamanian company owned
by him was never used.
But, he said, "with hindsight,
I realise that it was probably not
the right call, purely based
on the fact that perceptions
matter as well".
Malta's anti-money laundering
agency, the FIAU said that
Jonathan Ferris's dismissal
was based on an objective assessment
of his performance and did not
involve any political interference.
Well, Malta's Prime Minister Joseph
Muscat has given Newsnight
an interview about all of this.
John met up with him in Valetta.
What's been the effect
of her assassination
on your own standing, sir?
Well, bad, definitely,
because that's not something that
any Prime Minister would want.
She was a very vociferous
critic of many people.
I might have been
the top of that list.
And this doesn't look good on me.
I'm very realistic on this.
Besides her family,
I think if there is one
person that has suffered
this assassination it's us, just
because this long shadow has been
cast on us.
One week after Daphne's
assassination where were
you and what were you doing?
The week after.
I wouldn't know, honestly.
You were in Dubai,
For 650,000 euros.
We don't sell.
We have, as other European
European countries, systems
by which, and programmes,
and ours is the most
transparent and open programme,
people can invest in our country,
can have residence
and even citizenship.
Who's buying these passports?
Well, various people,
Wealth doesn't buy you
the right to citizenship.
I had some...
It helps if you've got
650,000 euros, though.
It helps but it doesn't
mean that you would get
access to our programme.
The law, though, says
that the minister responsible,
and I believe that's you,
the Prime Minister,
can override a problem.
For example, if somebody's got
a criminal record or is under
No, the system has
never been overridden.
Tell me about your family's
relationship with the first
family of Azerbaijan.
Well, I met President Aliyev,
I believe, twice in Baku, a number
of times when we were at the EU
Eastern Partnership summits.
Mrs Aliyev came here once,
she met with my wife.
That's the relationship.
Daphne said there was a lot more.
Well, you know, I don't think
you can hide $1 million.
I don't think you can hide $100.
Definitely not in a bank.
Definitely not anywhere
else, you know?
Does Malta have a problem
I don't feel comfortable in saying
no, we don't have any problems,
or yes, we have problems.
I'd say we have as many problems
as any other jurisdiction,
be it the City of London,
be it Luxembourg, the Netherlands,
when it comes to making sure
that we comply with the rules.
And anyway I don't want to be seen,
I know I'm in a quite uncomfortable
situation having to criticise
someone who has been killed
brutally, but I hope we are not
in a situation where in any
democracy, situations are such
where if someone writes
something on social media,
that is stated as fact.
Although you are doing
exactly that, aren't you?
She was killed brutally and you're
saying that at least some
of the time she was writing gossip.
She had evidence.
You don't agree with it.
You don't think it's right.
But she did have evidence.
She's got a whistle-blower...
No, I totally disagree because I
read exactly what she said.
So, first of all there isn't
a shred, not only of proof
but of truth in what she said,
all of this.
She based herself on a person
calling herself a whistle-blower
and the account of this
whistle-blower was dubious,
to say the least.
What I am saying is that not
only if there is evidence,
if there is even the whiff of any
evidence I would resign on the spot.
And yes, I'm sorry, the issue
with Mrs Caruana Galizia
is that she has said things that
were facts, she wrote stories that
were cutting edge but then these
were coupled with things
that were false.
Now, I don't know that
whether she knew what she was saying
against me or about me was false,
whether she was part of this
invention, or whether she was fed
the story by this whistle-blower,
or someone else, and maybe it looked
too true, too good not to be true,
let's put it that way,
because it fitted the narrative that
some people wanted to put in.
The charge in a nutshell is that
you're the artful dodger of Europe.
Well, if that is the charge I'm
definitely not guilty of that.
I think it's, you know,
I do believe that our success story
as a country might not go
down well with others.
But it is a success story that
will continue for a long time.
After Daphne Caruana
her son Matthew wrote,
if institutions were already
working, there would
be no assassinations
to investigate and my brothers
and I, we'd still have a mother.
What do you say to that?
Well, I have made it very clear that
I would never take issue with...
People who have lost their mother
in such a brutal assassination.
I've said myself that if my mother
was killed in such instances
I would say much worse
things than that.
Prime Minister, thank you.
Thank you very much.
John Sweetie talking to the premise
to Malta. It will be me back here
tomorrow, in the meantime, good