Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s chief of staff Keith Schembri has refused to comment on his future as pressure mounts on him to resign his position.

The strategist was seen in public on Monday for the first time since the arrest of 17 Black owner Yorgen Fenech in connection with the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

However, he was reluctant to say anything to reporters waiting for him as he entered the Office of the Prime Minister in Valletta on Monday morning. He said only: “No comment.”

Keith Schembri replies: "No comment" when approached by journalists at the Office of the Prime Minister on Monday

Mr Schembri is under pressure to quit or be removed from his post because of his links to the man suspected of being at the top of a criminal conspiracy to kill the 53-year-old journalist in a car bomb in October 2017.

Last year Mr Fenech was revealed as the owner of 17 Black, which was identified in leaked e-mails as being set to pay hefty sums of money into the offshore companies owned by Mr Schembri and Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi.

Labour MPs have been privately saying they want both men to go, and Education Minister, Evarist Bartolo has openly said they need to leave their posts.

"Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri can choose to resign in the interests of the people for whom the Labour Party was formed," Mr Bartolo said

Earlier on Monday Dr Mizzi posted a defiant message on Facebook, saying criticism of him played into the opposition Nationalist Party’s hands.