Nobody is bigger than the Labour Party and MPs must "assume responsibility" for their actions, Prime Minister Robert Abela has said in relation to Rosianne Cutajar.
While skirting questions as to whether he would be asking Cutajar to step aside as a Labour representative, Abela gave his strongest indication yet that he expects the Qormi MP to step aside.
"No one is bigger than the party and no one is bigger than the country,” he told Times of Malta on Monday.
"In the past 10 years, this government has done a lot of good. We must not let the negative, the bad, ruin the good that we have done,” he said.
"I am sure that members of parliament understand the responsibility they bear, the responsibility they have towards the Labour Party parliamentary group, the Labour Party, and the country in general," the prime minister said.
But when asked point-blank whether he felt comfortable having her as part of the government backbench, Abela said Cutajar had been made to resign as Parliamentary Secretary back in 2021.
Cutajar has faced pressure to resign as an MP since author Mark Camilleri published chat transcripts between herself and Yorgen Fenech, at a time when Fenech faced mounting scrutiny for being revealed as the owner of the secret company 17 Black.
The chats reveal that the two had an intimate relationship, confirm that Fenech gave Cutajar money as part of a property deal and also show Cutajar asked Fenech for help on some occasions.
Abela initially dismissed those calls, saying Cutajar had already been "punished" for those conversations when she stepped down as parliamentary secretary in 2021, after reports by Times of Malta revealed how she had benefitted from a property deal involving Fenech.
Speaking on Monday, he acknowledged that while most of the chat revelations were known when she was made to resign in 2021, "there are some facts which are new.
"Like I said, everyone has to assume responsibility for their actions," he said. "Nobody is bigger than the party, and nobody is bigger than the country."
He said while he did not speak to Cutajar "directly", his message did not need to be communicated ‘face-to-face’.
The prime minister also condemned Camilleri for the way in which he had published the chat transcripts, in violation of a court-ordered ban.
A judge has since instructed the police to take action against Camilleri for having done so. Camilleri, who lives abroad, has questioned the haste with which that order was issued.
Rosianne Cutajar is expecting
Meanwhile, Rosianne Cutajar's partner, Daniel Farrugia, has revealed that she is expecting.
'Looking forward to meet our baby girl,' he wrote on Facebook in a post in which Cutajar was tagged.
The post shows a picture of the two of them at a gender reveal party.