Poggio says he is 'back in full
control' at the London office

PANORAMA EXCLUSIVE
Albert Poggio told PANORAMA yesterday that he is now 'back in full control' at the Gibraltar Government office in London. He said he was very pleased to work for the new Government.

A Gibraltar Government spokesman told us: "Mr Poggio is Her Majesty's Government of Gibraltar Representative in the UK and Mr Canessa remains in post as he was before."

CHANGES

In March last year, the previous government announced changes at Gibraltar House in London, saying it was part of its ongoing programme of reform and modernisation of the public service. The changes were introduced on 1st April 2011.

The staff of Gibraltar House, comprising 7 persons became employees of a Gibraltar Government owned company. Until now they had been employees of a privately owned company.

The GSD government added then: "By mutual agreement Albert Poggio stands down as Director of Gibraltar House and thus as the Gibraltar Government’s UK Representative. He is replaced by Civil Servant Peter Canessa, who is joined in London by another Civil Service Officer.

"Total staff will therefore consist of 9 persons."

Meanwhile, Mr Poggio was appointed, on Consultancy terms, to continue with his political lobbying role for the Gibraltar Government. In this political consultancy capacity he would continue to play a leading role in relations with Parliament, UK MPs, local authorities and political parties.

At the time,the then Chief Minister Peter Caruana said: “As the Gibraltar House operation has got bigger and more significant, it has become necessary and desirable to bring it more under Government Civil Service administration and control.

"In the past we have relied entirely on Albert Poggio and arrangements of a commercial and private nature, but, as he himself says, he is getting no younger, and it is now important to operate under a system that enables and ensures succession planning and continuity into the future.

"Albert has done a tremendous job over many decades, culminating in the successful implementation of the project to establish a new Gibraltar House at 150 Strand of which we can all be justifiably proud.

"Some of his most important work has been on the political lobby front, and I am therefore delighted that he will continue in this role.”

However, in travel and other circles in Gibraltar it was said that 'differences of opinion' had again arisen between Mr Caruana and Mr Poggio, resulting in the changes announced in April last year.

REPRESENTATIVE

In recent weeks it was being said in unofficial sources in Gibraltar that Mr Poggio had reverted to being the government's representative in London, and this was reinforced by his use of the title 'United Kingdom Representative, HM Government of Gibraltar.'

According to Mr Poggio, Mr Canessa is in charge of administration. They, and the rest of the staff, all work for the government company that runs Gibraltar House.

Mr Poggio has headed the London office for 24 years and has wide contacts with MPs and officials in London.

28-02-12

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