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Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez says he will not resign – as it happened

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Sánchez to stay on as Spain’s prime minister

Pedro Sánchez, Spain’s prime minister, has announced that he staying on in his role.

His decision comes days after the Spanish leader abruptly announced he was considering resigning from office, after a Madrid court said it had opened an investigation into Sánchez’s wife, Begoña Gómez.

The investigation followed a complaint from the pressure group Manos Limpias (Clean Hands), which is known to have had links in the past to Spain’s far right.

In a dramatic speech this morning, Sánchez said he decided to continue as prime minister and called for a collective reflection, as well as cleaning up what he described as toxic practices in public life.

He called on Spanish society to become an example and inspiration for the world.

“I have acted out of a clear conviction,” Sánchez said. “Either we say enough, or this degradation of public life will determine our future, condemning us as a country,” he added.

“Thanks to that social mobilisation, which has influenced my decision, I can tell you what I’ve already told our head of state: I’ve decided to stay and fight even harder as prime minister,” he said.

He also called for an end to political and media attacks, adding: “Let’s stop this mud-slinging by collectively rejecting it … I ask Spanish society to once again become an example and an inspiration to a wounded world.”

Read the full story.

A handout photo made available by Moncloa Palace shows Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez giving a statement to the press to communicate his decision of not resigning from his post. Photograph: Moncloa Palace Handout/EPA
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Key events

We are now closing this blog but you can read our report on Pedro Sánchez vowing to stay on as leader, here.

Summary of the day

  • Pedro Sánchez, the Spanish prime minister, announced in a highly-anticipated televised address that he is staying on as the country’s leader.

  • His remarks came after he after spent five days reflecting on his future because of what he termed a “harassment and bullying operation” being waged against him and his wife by his political and media enemies.

  • Sánchez said he had decided to carry on as prime minister despite the attacks he and his family have had to endure.

  • The prime minister said that “thanks to that social mobilisation, which has influenced my decision, I can tell you what I’ve already told our head of state: I’ve decided to stay and fight even harder as prime minister.”

  • He also called for an end to political and media attacks, adding: “Let’s stop this mud-slinging by collectively rejecting it … I ask Spanish society to once again become an example and an inspiration to a wounded world.”

  • Sánchez’s socialist allies welcomed his decision.

  • Salvador Illa, a former socialist health minister and candidate for regional president for the Catalan branch of the socialist party in the upcoming 12 May Catalan election, welcomed Pedro Sánchez’s decision. “This is the best news for Catalonia,” Illa wrote.

  • The Socialists and Democrats group in the European parliament said: “European Social Democrats are with you, Pedro.”

  • Alberto Núñez Feijóo, the leader of the conservative People’s party (PP), said that “if the prime minister has no problem appearing ridiculous, he can go for it. But the fact that he’s dragging the rest of my country down that road shows that Spanish citizens don’t have a prime minister who’s up to the job.”

  • The conservative People’s party’s Isabel Díaz Ayuso said “Sánchez has spent years using institutions to persecute political adversaries, judges, the media and journalists, as well as their family circles. His project today is a warning to us that it he will roll over any counterweight that reminds him that there are limits. In the name of impunity.”

  • Santiago Abascal, the leader of the far-right Vox party, said that “Sánchez’s decision to carry on is a reaffirmation of his coup against unity, against coexistence, against the rule of law, against the separation of powers, and against the freedom of the press.”

‘Spanish citizens don’t have a prime minister who’s up to the job,’ Feijóo says

Sam Jones

Alberto Núñez Feijóo, the leader of the conservative People’s party (PP) who has accused Pedro Sánchez of navel-gazing, melodrama and failing to live up to his office, said the prime minister’s words and deeds were proof of the need for a change of government.

“Everything we’re living through is just the epilogue for a past that we’re going to overcome,” he said.

“If the prime minister has no problem appearing ridiculous, he can go for it. But the fact that he’s dragging the rest of my country down that road shows that Spanish citizens don’t have a prime minister who’s up to the job,” Feijóo said.

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The Socialists and Democrats group in the European parliament, meanwhile, said: “European Social Democrats are with you, Pedro.”

Good news for Spain and Europe 🌹🇪🇺

Prime Minister @sanchezcastejon is an example of tireless defender of democracy and the rights of our citizens. Against the lies of the right and the extreme right.

European Social Democrats are with you, Pedro. https://t.co/umRnrI4Ks6

— S&D Group (@TheProgressives) April 29, 2024

Rob Roos, a Dutch member of the European parliament and vice chair of the European Conservatives and Reformists group, called Pedro Sánchez a “joke.”

“Beautiful Spain becomes a circus under his leadership,” he said.

‘Sánchez’s decision to carry on is a reaffirmation of his coup against unity’, far-right politician says

Sam Jones

Speaking to reporters after Pedro Sánchez’s announcement that he is staying on as prime minister, Santiago Abascal, the leader of the far-right Vox party, said that “for the past five days, Spaniards have been subjected to a crude, shocking and victim-playing piece of theatre that has shamed us internationally.”

Abascal added:

Sánchez’s decision to carry on is a reaffirmation of his coup against unity, against coexistence, against the rule of law, against the separation of powers, and against the freedom of the press.

Declaración institucional íntegra en respuesta al autócrata Pedro Sánchez.

📌 “Lo peor de Sánchez está por llegar”

📌 “Debemos trabajar para la resistencia y para la construcción de una alternativa urgente y viable” pic.twitter.com/6TZ0C98D9V

— Santiago Abascal 🇪🇸 (@Santi_ABASCAL) April 29, 2024

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Pepa R. de Millán, a spokesperson for the far-right Vox, has accused Sánchez of using “like-minded journalists to publish a manifesto and label all complaints that investigate his wife’s businesses as ‘attacks.’”

Quien dedica su legislatura a tomar las instituciones del Estado no lo hace para dimitir, sino para blindarse. Por eso Sánchez se ha valido de periodistas afines para publicar un manifiesto y tachar de “ataques” todas las denuncias que investiguen los negocios de su esposa.

— Pepa R. de Millán 🇪🇸 (@Pepa_Millan) April 29, 2024

Opposition criticises Sánchez after announcement

Sam Jones

The conservative People’s party’s Isabel Díaz Ayuso, the regional president of Madrid, has accused Pedro Sánchez of trying to undermine checks.

“Sánchez has spent years using institutions to persecute political adversaries, judges, the media and journalists, as well as their family circles. His project today is a warning to us that it he will roll over any counterweight that reminds him that there are limits. In the name of impunity,” she said.

Sánchez lleva años persiguiendo desde las instituciones al adversario político, jueces, medios y periodistas, así como a sus entornos familiares.

Su proyecto sale hoy a avisarnos: laminará cualquier contrapeso que le recuerde donde están los límites. Por la impunidad.

— Isabel Díaz Ayuso (@IdiazAyuso) April 29, 2024

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Sam Jones

Sumar’s Yolanda Díaz, who serves as Spain’s deputy prime minister, sent a message to the conservative People’s party’s Alberto Núñez Feijóo.

“Mr Feijóo, stop questioning the results that emerged legitimately from the ballot box. Mr Feijóo, respect this country. If we’ve reached a full stop, then this new phase has to be about political initiatives and measures,” she said.

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Sam Jones

Here are the key lines from Pedro Sánchez’s speech this morning.

“If we don’t say, ‘Enough!’, then this degradation of public life will condemn our future as a country. It’s true that I’ve taken this step for personal reasons, but these are motives that everyone can understand and recognise because they are about the values that form the bedrock of Spain’s supportive and family-base society.”

“It is thanks to this social mobilisation that has so decisively influenced my reflections – and of which I am once again grateful – that I want to let you know what I’ve decided. As I told the head of state this very morning, I have decided to stay on as Spain’s prime minister and to stay on with even more strength than before – if that’s possible.”

“I think our country needs to embark on that collective reflection. But I actually think we’ve already begun to do that over the past five days. It’s a collective reflection that will lead to a cleaning, a regeneration, to a sense of fair play. For too long, we’ve allowed mud to colonise political and public life with impunity and to infect them with toxic actions that would have been unthinkable even a few years ago.”

“Today, I’m asking Spanish society for us once again to set an example for a convulsed and wounded world. Because the evils that afflict us are far from exclusive to Spain. They are part of a global reactionary movement that wants to impose its retrograde agenda through defamation and falsehoods, through hatred and through stirring up fears and threats that have nothing to do with science or reason.

Let’s show the world how we defend democracy. Let’s put an end to this mud in the only possible way: through a collective rejection that is calm and democratic, and which goes beyond parties and ideologies. It is something I firmly commit to leading as the prime minister of Spain.”

Iratxe García Pérez, a Spanish socialist who leads the Socialists and Democrats group in the European parliament, also welcomed Sánchez’s move to stay on.

“Good for Spain, good for Europe,” she said.

🌹Seguimos, defendiendo la democracia , defendiendo los derechos .
El Presidente @sanchezcastejon sigue porque merece la pena , y no lo hace solo …… detrás tiene la mayoría social del país .
Bien por España , bien por Europa

— Iratxe García Pérez /❤️ (@IratxeGarper) April 29, 2024

Here are the latest images from Spain.

People watch the broadcast of Pedro Sanchez, president of the government of Spain, through a television in a bar in the center of Madrid. Photograph: Luis Soto/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock
Miguel Bernad, head of Manos Limpias (Clean Hands), surrounded by media leaves Madrid’s Court on 29 April. Photograph: Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP/Getty Images
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The Socialists’ Patxi López said today’s decision shows “the insult does not win the argument”.

“Today democracy wins,” he said.

Qué gran noticia. Pedro sigue demostrando que:
La mentira no puede con la verdad.
El insulto no gana al argumento.
El odio de algunos discursos no se impone a la convivencia.
Los que creen que el poder es suyo no deciden por encima de la voluntad ciudadana.
Hoy gana la… pic.twitter.com/W7mDY2gc0W

— patxilopez (@patxilopez) April 29, 2024

Sam Jones

Oscar Puente, Spain’s transport minister, celebrated Sánchez’s decision to stay.

Santos Cerdán León, the Socialist party’s secretary, said “we are going to continue working tirelessly.”

Vamos a seguir trabajando sin descanso. Por la regeneración de la democracia. Para seguir consolidando derechos. Para que prevalezca la política limpia.

Vamos a hacer frente a los desafíos que están por venir con más fuerza que nunca.

— Santos Cerdán León (@santicl) April 29, 2024

Sam Jones

Salvador Illa, a former socialist health minister and candidate for regional president for the Catalan branch of the socialist party in the upcoming 12 May Catalan election, welcomed Pedro Sánchez’s decision.

“This is the best news for Catalonia,” Illa wrote. “A brave decision to recover the dignity of politics and a commitment to stop those who try to undermine our democracy,” he added.

Esta es la mejor noticia para Cataluña. Una decisión valiente para recuperar la dignidad de la política y un compromiso para frenar a quienes intentan socavar nuestra democracia. ¡Adelante, presidente!

— Salvador Illa Roca/❤️ (@salvadorilla) April 29, 2024

Sánchez to stay on as Spain’s prime minister

Pedro Sánchez, Spain’s prime minister, has announced that he staying on in his role.

His decision comes days after the Spanish leader abruptly announced he was considering resigning from office, after a Madrid court said it had opened an investigation into Sánchez’s wife, Begoña Gómez.

The investigation followed a complaint from the pressure group Manos Limpias (Clean Hands), which is known to have had links in the past to Spain’s far right.

In a dramatic speech this morning, Sánchez said he decided to continue as prime minister and called for a collective reflection, as well as cleaning up what he described as toxic practices in public life.

He called on Spanish society to become an example and inspiration for the world.

“I have acted out of a clear conviction,” Sánchez said. “Either we say enough, or this degradation of public life will determine our future, condemning us as a country,” he added.

“Thanks to that social mobilisation, which has influenced my decision, I can tell you what I’ve already told our head of state: I’ve decided to stay and fight even harder as prime minister,” he said.

He also called for an end to political and media attacks, adding: “Let’s stop this mud-slinging by collectively rejecting it … I ask Spanish society to once again become an example and an inspiration to a wounded world.”

Read the full story.

A handout photo made available by Moncloa Palace shows Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez giving a statement to the press to communicate his decision of not resigning from his post. Photograph: Moncloa Palace Handout/EPA
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Updated at 

Spanish media outlets are highlighting that no one knows which path Pedro Sánchez will choose.

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