The prime minister's former chief of staff Keith Schembri has resigned from the Labour Party.
The Labour Party has been facing mounting pressure to have Mr Schembri’s membership revoked as his potential links to the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia are the subject of ongoing police investigations.
In a letter to PL president Daniel Micallef after “a number of messages and posts on social media”, Mr Schembri said that he had always believed in the “Labour movement create by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat”, and its values.
“I do not want my name to ever be used or to be the cause of division within the PL,” Mr Schembri wrote.
“You are and remain a Labourite, not simply because you are a member of the party, as can be testified by thousands of my supporters who believe in me and have always respected me,” he wrote.
He added that he considers his "membership in the party to be removed".
The former chief of staff said he believed "without any reservations" in the Labour Party's ability to continue bringing about prosperity and spreading wealth among the Maltese people.
"I believe that the Labour Party has a bright future ahead which will lead to more electoral wins," he said.
'I will remain loyal to the party...'
Mr Schembri ended the letter by stating he will "always be loyal" and will be there for the party if it ever needed him.
"I am convinced that all the truth will emerge and that everyone will be able see it, even those who have judged me based simply on unfounded allegations," he said.
In a one-line statement, the Labour Party said it had received the resignation letter from Mr Schembri.
Earlier in the day, Economy Minister Chris Cardona took to his Facebook page calling for the former chief of staff to be expelled from the party immediately.
In the post early on Friday morning, Dr Cardona said that although it is too late now as the damage to the party and the government had been done, he would like to see Mr Schembri expelled from the party as soon as possible.
According to media reports, Mr Schembri and businessman Yorgen Fenech, charged with complicity in the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, had plotted to "frame" Dr Cardona for the murder.
"I am convinced that all the truth will emerge and that everyone will be able see it, even those who have judged me based simply on unfounded allegations"- Keith Schembri
On Wednesday, Mr Schembri denied that he is a traitor to Labour supporters when asked whether he believed he should apologise for any of his actions.
Mr Schembri resigned as chief of staff last month over the fall out from the Ms Caruana Galizia murder investigation and gave his first public account in court on Wednesday about claims he helped leak classified information to the murder suspect.
In recent weeks, several senior members of the Labour Party, including, reportedly, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, said they felt betrayed by the former chief of staff.
On Thursday, memes mocking Mr Schembri were shared on social media after it emerged in court that the former chief of staff's mobile phone is not part of police evidence because he has "lost" it. Among those mocking this claim was Labour CEO chief executive Randolph DeBattista.
'They let him resign' - Roberta Metsola
Nationalist MEP Roberta Metsola was among the first to react to the news, saying on Twitter that "they let him resign" instead of being "sacked, thrown out, removed, banned from ever going near anything to do with politics ever again".
Also quick to comment was independent MP Marlene Farrugia, a former labour parliamentarian, who said the party needed "much more" than Mr Schembri's resignation.
"Where are all his collaborators by action or inaction, who put personal gain before their loyalty to their Country? Where the heartless gluttons who partook in the systematic dismantling of our democracy and reputation, because it suited them? Where are the hypocrites who fueled campaigns of demonisation and dehumanisation of anyone who stood up to Kasco’s Ways?," she said.
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