Labour MEP Alex Agius Saliba has said that he will be backing Roberta Metsola's bid for the presidency of the European Parliament. 

The PN MEP confirmed on Monday that she has officially entered the race to become the next president of the European Parliament, after months spent gauging her support and lobbying centre-right EPP colleagues.

In a post on Facebook, Agius Saliba said that while politically the two MEPs have "a lot of differences" ultimately they are both Maltese. 

"A few moments ago I privately reached out to Roberta Metsola and promised her my cooperation and that I would not be a hindrance to her candidacy for president of the European Parliament," the MEP said. 

He said he hoped that if elected president, Metsola would use her position to work in favour of all the Maltese and Gozitans. 

Agius Saliba is the first Labour MEP to speak out about the matter since Metsola made the announcement on Monday. Labour MEPs form part of the Socialist & Democrat grouping within the parliament.  

EP presidents are elected for two-and-a-half years of the parliament’s five-year term. The presidency is normally divided between the two major political parties, the S&D, who currently hold the post, and the European People's Party. 

The current president, Italian MEP David Sassoli, is expected to step down on January 17 but speculation persists that he could attempt to run for a second term.

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