By John Smith • 11 November 2016 • 9:06
Fabian Picardo and Mike Penning
THERE was a small and peaceful demonstration outside the Convent (the official residence of the Governor of Gibraltar) organised by the Unite union on Thursday November 10 so that they could deliver a letter to be passed to the new UK Minister of State for the Armed Forces the Rt. Hon. Mike Penning PC MP, a former Grenadier Guardsman and fireman who was on a familiarisation visit to Gibraltar.
He then met with Chief Minister Fabian Picardo who expressed his delight that Mr Penning had been appointed to this position in July 2016 and the fact that he had decided to visit Gibraltar especially at a difficult time when the Ministry of Defence was reviewing employment on the Rock.
The Chief Minister said: “I was so happy to see Mike Penning in Gibraltar as Minister for Armed Forces. He has been a good, true and long term friend of Gibraltar and it is fantastic news for all of Gibraltar as a whole that he has now become a Minister in the MoD.
“At a time when Unite have concerns about the proposed new operating model to be implemented and on which the MoD are consulting with the unions, we can be assured of a decision maker at a ministerial level who is not a fair weather friend but a genuine ally of Gibraltar and its people.”
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Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica.
Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene.
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