Robert Abela insisted that "people still trust the Labour Party" as he denied reports that he would put his leadership to a confidence vote after the party's majority was decimated in the European Parliament elections.

Speaking a day after Labour won the election by an 8,400 majority over PN, Abela said the results are still a victory for the PL but acknowledged once again there had been a strong message from the electorate.

Abela speaking to reporters on Monday.

A meeting for Labour MPs and the executive was called after the election result over the weekend, but the prime minister denied he was seeking a vote of confidence on Monday night. Earlier, multiple sources within the PL said Abela had been planning a vote of confidence by a show of hands. 

“Anybody who asks for a confidence vote within the (party) structures is a politician who knows his time with the electorate is coming to an end. Whoever makes that decision is a desperate,” he said.

“When the time comes when I do not have the electorate’s trust, I will heed the message and I will take the decision by myself”. 

The prime minister said: “The people still sent a strong message that they trust the Labour Party as the party offering solutions to challenges”.

But the electorate expects courageous decisions.

“People do not want us to be populist... The moment has come to make decisions that can no longer be postponed,” the prime minister said. 

A substantial part of society chose not to vote because they are disappointed that some decisions were not taken. 

“That large chunk of the electorate is disillusioned with the political class because we focus on what is petty or what can give us short-term electorate advantage.

"The PL needs to take necessary decisions for the country, even if they are not immediately popular but will be appreciated in the long term," he said. 

These decisions cannot be postponed further, Abela said. 

Specifically, Abela spoke about over-development, care for the environment, civil liberties, specifically women’s rights, and overpopulation. 

“The country had an economic formula 10 or 11 years ago to get the country out of an economic crisis. Today, the realities are different, as have people's aspirations and expectations. Because they have a better quality of life,” he said. 

Abela also mentioned the contentious issue of restaurants putting out tables and chairs in public areas. 

“We’re not saying there should not be tables and chairs, but there needs to be a balance between pedestrians and business owners."

Asked whether a cabinet reshuffle is on the cards or whether there will be resignations of people in the Labour Party, Abela said: “Those are decisions I must take at the opportune moment; I don't exclude anything naturally”. 

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