Veteran MP Robert Arrigo has decided to stay on as PN deputy leader, backtracking on his decision last month to resign. 

Contacted by Times of Malta, Arrigo confirmed he had withdrawn his resignation. 

“I cannot and will not abandon ship now. I will be the last to leave with the leader. Responsibility is a huge word,” Arrigo said. 

He said he took the decision to stay on as deputy leader after seeing the effects of the coronavirus crisis. 

“I decided to stay on when I saw Malta is going towards total lockdown. It would be too easy to leave”. 

Arrigo added his concern for all workers during the crisis, a concern he said he would be prioritising. 

In a Tweet, Opposition leader Adrian Delia welcomed the announcement, calling Arrigo a "true gentleman". 

The PN MP had announced his resignation amid growing discontent about the party’s leadership. 

Arrigo had blamed the parliamentary group for making “everybody’s life miserable” during what he described as 30 dismal months.

Ultimately, it’s a destruction of our party,” the outgoing deputy leader had said adding he did not wish to be shadowing any subject for the rest of the legislature.

He had also accused MPs of boycotting party events, which he said were accelerating “the impossibility of the party to survive” from a financial perspective.

Arrigo also pointed fingers at those who he said were “foul mouthing” prospective new candidates. “Who else can the party attract?” he questioned.

In a dig at former party officials and those who were in leadership positions before him, he said they had “ran out, escaped, leaving the party in shambles”.

“The gurus can move in, as they are talented and not mediocre as was said by Claudio [Grech]. The aim to oust has now turned to destruction of the party,” he added.

On Delia, Arrigo had said the PN leader had faced a “tsunami” by his critics. 

The fresh rebellion within the PN had been sparked by polls showing the party risked being wiped out in certain districts due to a huge dip in support. 

Rebels had ultimately decided to ditch a plan to sideline Delia so as not to risk splitting the party. 

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