Daniel Attard, the former Labour Mtarfa mayor who spent months steering the local council from his office at Malta’s High Commission in London, is being pushed by Labour to take a seat at the European Parliament.
Shortly after returning to Malta after spending more than a year living in London courtesy of a political appointment at Malta’s diplomatic mission to London, Attard has now been approved to contest next year’s EP elections on the Labour ticket.
Labour sources told The Shift that the 31-year-old lawyer, who graduated in 2017 but never practised due to the many jobs he has received from the government, is being personally promoted by Prime Minister Robert Abela as part of his designs to replace some of Labour’s MEPs.
Starting as a reporter at Labour’s ONE News, Attard has been on the government gravy train since his days at university, first in the secretariat of former minister Helena Dalli and then as a spokesperson for former foreign minister Evarist Bartolo, who had Mtarfa in his constituency.
Before even graduating, the young mayor was sent to Geneva to serve at Malta’s diplomatic mission to the United Nations.
Before the last election, Attard, despite his young age and lack of diplomatic experience, was appointed as Malta’s Deputy High Commissioner to the UK, where he spent months as Malta’s informal head of mission until former minister Manuel Mallia was approved as the next High Commissioner.
While he continued to conduct the Mtarfa council meetings online from Piccadilly, his wife Annelise, who is employed in a senior position at the Medicines Authority, struck an ad hoc agreement that allowed her to work from London and retain her €50,000 plus yearly salary.
This also allowed Daniel Attard to benefit from higher allowances afforded to married government employees who are posted abroad.
Daniel Attard will be joining Clint Flores, another politically-appointed diplomat who will be trying his luck at returning to Brussels as an MEP.
The husband of veteran Labour stalwart Ray Azzopardi, Flores was given an ambassadorial post as a representative to the Political and Security Committee of the EU ambassador in Brussels by disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat where he joined his husband, who was also appointed as Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium.
The couple has now returned to Malta to prepare for Flores’s electoral campaign. Upon his return, Flores landed a well-remunerated job at the Bank of Valletta as Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) Executive Head – a position created specifically for him.
Labour won four MEP seats in the 2019 EP elections out of the six seats available for Malta.