STATEMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT OF MALTA: Government of Malta makes official representations regarding UK DCMS Committee report

Reference Number: PR181687, Press Release Issue Date: Jul 30, 2018
 
The Government of Malta is disappointed with the release of the UK House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee interim report into fake news, which ironically contains false and unsubstantiated information, from anonymous websites, which were immediately and strongly denied by the Maltese Government.
 
The Committee links to a blog post by Manuel Delia, a Nationalist Party activist and blogger. That blog post makes a number of false assumptions and links facts using only supposition and irresponsible guesswork to spread malicious gossip.
 
Not only does the blog fail to provide any evidence to back up its claims, it also fails to recognize the public denial of the accusations.
 
It is unfortunate that a report by a UK House of Commons Committee in to ‘fake news’ has fallen victim itself to purveyors of unsubstantiated rumours and speculation.
 
It was categorically denied by the parties involved that SCL and/or Cambridge Analytica had been advising the Labour Party ‘for several years before the 2013 elections’, or that such services were provided before, during, or after those elections in Malta.
 
Upon seeing an advance copy of the report, which had been leaked in the UK media, the Government of Malta immediately made representations to the Chair and Members of the Committee pointing out aspects that are factually incorrect.
 
Additionally, the Minister of Foreign Affairs has liaised with his counterpart in the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office about this unfortunate incident where a UK House of Commons Committee was made to believe, and furthermore publish, false information regarding a fellow EU and Commonwealth member state.
 
The Government of Malta is calling for the DCMS Committee to rectify this serious error in the publication of its final report.