Sunday Times columnist Michela Spiteri works for Keith Schembri and Glenn Bedingfield at the Office of the Prime Minister

Published: April 5, 2017 at 2:13am

Emails which were sent to the wrong address by aides at the Office of the Prime Minister, and which were in turn sent to this website by the person who received them, have revealed that Michela Spiteri, a columnist for The Sunday Times, routinely works on propaganda documents for Keith Schembri, the Prime Minister’s chief of staff who is heavily involved in the Panama Papers scandal, and for Glenn Bedingfield, another of the Prime Minister’s key aides.

The spelling of her name as ‘Michaela’ rather than the correct ‘Michela’ meant that these messages went to somebody else entirely.

One email intended for Michela Spiteri, sent by Glenn Bedingfield via his official ‘Glenn Bedingfield at OPM’ address last Thursday, says:


With reference to the documents which have been sent to you over the past weeks by Keith Schembri’s office, kindly translate the content at your earliest.

Best always,


Another email, sent on 18 January by Sarah Haider, one of Keith Schembri’s communications aides, and intended for Michela Spiteri, reads:

Hi Michaela,
Thank you for agreeing to help with proofreading these articles, I have attached them individually. It seems like a lot, but they are not very long.
If there is anything else you need form my end please let me know, you can email or call me on 79255601.


Sarah Haider
Communications Officer

This message includes 11 Word document attachments that form the basis for the Prime Minister’s propaganda missive about the 2017 Budget. They are titled: Building on the Ocean Legacy of One of Our Own, Ease of Doing Business, Education, EU Council Presidency, Forward Thinking, Have Your Say, Healthcare – Gozo, the New Nurse of the Mediterranean, Prosperity With a Purpose, Women in Employment, and another one described as ‘Short Article on Economy for OPM’.

I rang Glenn Bedingfield, who didn’t pick up but then sent a message asking me to send a message because he couldn’t take the call. It was only 5pm and he was already out on the campaign trail, knocking on doors for votes – or as he put it, “seeing my constituents”, except that he hasn’t any because he’s not a member of parliament.

I sent him an email instead (see below), and he sent another text message saying “I will reply later as at the moment I am out”. He emailed at 10pm, confirming that the emails were indeed meant for the Sunday Times columnist, who works for the Office of the Prime Minister, checking, proofreading and translating documents, for which she is paid “according to standard procurement procedures”.

In the meantime I had rung Sarah Haider, who sent the other email and whose mobile number was so helpfully included in it. Ms Haider told me that she has no idea who Michela Spiteri is (great going for a communications aide at the Office of the Prime Minister, though I have to say she knew who I was and that she was very polite), and that she was told to send her the documents. “But then they told me that I had spelled her name badly and that the email address was wrong.”

I also emailed Michela Spiteri for her comments (see below), as one must, but as anticipated got no reply. I then sought comment from her editor at The Sunday Times, who said that he would like more facts in hand before commenting, and that he would be pursuing the matter. At that point, I didn’t yet have Glenn Bedingfield’s confirmation that his email instructions were intended for her.

In the last four years, Spiteri has scrupulously avoided writing about even the most major of this government’s scandals, instead straining to produce praise like last Sunday’s paean to the Gozo Minister for his superb taste in paintings and his decision to use a large chunk of the Gozo budget to buy at a London auction a painting by Mattia Preti.

Two Sundays ago, the columnist who had nothing to say about the Prime Minister’s chief of staff’s complicated network of secret companies (and now we discover that he gives her work) wrote a newspaper column that regurgitated the Prime Minister’s and Glenn Bedingfield’s angry soundbites against the Opposition leader, the “fake invoices” and “DB Group”.

The Sunday Times columnist Michela Spiteri, who is paid by the Prime Minister’s Office to work on propaganda documents for his chief of staff, Keith Schembri, and for his communications officer, Glenn Bedingfield.