NEIL Costa will step away from politics at the end of his current term next month.

The current minister for Justice, Commerce and the Health Service cited a desire to spend more time with his family as the main reason for his decision.

“It is no secret to many that as far back as the 2015 election I had indicated I would not put my name forward to the Liberal Party Executive for reselection in 2019,” said Costa.

“Having served as a Minister for eight years I have a strong sense that the time has come for me to prioritise my family and return to exercise the profession for which I studied.”

Costa worked hard to streamline the Gibraltar Health Authority (GHA) for which he received his fair share of critics.

However, plans to consult the community over decriminalising cannabis use for personal use never materialised.

He voiced his support for abortion in certain situations and legalised the morning after pill at chemists.

Costa was responsible for a number of more progressive policies like giving the LGBTQ community the rights to marry and adopt children.

Swinson support

All this week, the leader of the Gibraltar Liberal party and Deputy Chief Minister, Joseph Garcia, was in the UK attending the Liberal Democrat party conference.

There, he met up with new leader Jo Swinson, whose party has been forecast to gain seats if an election is called.

At the Bournemouth conference the party members voted to revoke Brexit, a position also held by the Gibraltar Government.

In a talk given by the DCM at the conference he highlighted how leaving the EU would hurt Gibraltar especially in respect of frontier controls and restrictions on free movement.

“We will lose advantages that have long been taken for granted,” said Garcia. “This is what it will mean to be outside the club,”

Swinson stated her support for Gibraltar when she introduced the Gibraltar talk. “We stand with you,” she said.

The Liberal Democrats are the first of the three main parties to have conferences, with Gibraltar looking to present their case in each one.

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