CHIEF Minister of Gibraltar, Fabian Picardo, has shut down claims made by the former Spanish Foreign Minister that they had arranged a secret meeting following the Brexit vote.

José Manuel García-Margallo claimed that a meeting had been arranged but that Picardo called it off after he feared news of the meeting could be leaked to the media.

The Chief Minister has made a formal statement to say that while Mr García-Margallo did attempt to meet with him, he never considered meeting the Spaniard.

“It is true that Snr Margallo sought to meet with me directly.

“The request for the direct meeting was despite his public statements to the effect that he would only meet regarding Gibraltar with the United Kingdom bilaterally or in the context of a Quadrilateral Forum including the Junta de Andalucia.

“My response to the private request was exactly the same as my public position on any meeting with a Spanish Minister or official, namely that I would only be prepared to meet to discuss non-sovereignty matters and that the meeting should not be secret.

“Given my reply, I did not receive a further response.”

Mr Picardo was quick to laugh off any potential involvement of Mr García-Margallo in Gibraltarian affairs.

“Now, as then, I think everyone in Gibraltar considers that Snr Margallo was entirely deluded in his approach to the people of Gibraltar,” Mr Picardo said.