Fabian Picardo

Fabian Picardo
Picardo in 2017
Chief Minister of Gibraltar
Assumed office
9 December 2011
MonarchsElizabeth II
Charles III
Preceded bySir Peter Caruana
Leader of the Opposition
In office
20 April 2011 – 9 December 2011
MonarchElizabeth II
GovernorSir Adrian Johns
Preceded bySir Joe Bossano
Succeeded bySir Peter Caruana
Leader of the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party
Assumed office
20 April 2011
Preceded bySir Joe Bossano
Member of the Parliament of Gibraltar
Assumed office
28 November 2003
Personal details
Born (1972-02-18) 18 February 1972 (age 52)
Political partySocialist Labour (since 2003)
Other political
Liberal (1991–2003)
Justine Picardo
(m. 2011; sep. 2023)
ChildrenSebastian, Oliver, Valentina
Alma materOriel College, Oxford

Fabian Raymond Picardo (born 18 February 1972) is a Gibraltarian politician and barrister, serving as Chief Minister of Gibraltar and Leader of the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party since 2011. At the 2015 and 2019 Gibraltar general elections, Picardo was re-elected to two further four-year terms. He was narrowly re-elected for a fourth term in the 2023 Gibraltar general election.

Picardo attended the University of Oxford, where he studied legal theory.[1]

Early life and education

Picardo was born on 18 February 1972 in Gibraltar and grew up in the Upper Town area. He has said that the area where he grew up "always made me think about the huge potential that the bay of Gibraltar could have as long as we were able to work together with our Spanish neighbours." His father was a clerical worker for the Ministry of Defence on Gibraltar, and his mother was a personal assistant to Joshua Hassan, the founder of Hassans law firm and a Chief Minister of Gibraltar. Picardo has said that "My parents instilled in me the simple principle of equality, that nobody is better than anybody else and that we shouldn’t look down on absolutely anyone because all of us are created equal."[2] Picardo's grandmother was Spanish, although he has said that the Picardo line came to Gibraltar during the Napoleonic Wars and that he's "particularly proud of that part of [his] bloodline."[2]

Picardo first entertained the idea of becoming a lawyer as the "result of a discussion with a teacher, who I was particularly keen to argue with, who told me that if I wanted to argue I should charge people for it and become a lawyer." When aged 14, he visited Hassans law firm to discuss the idea with the lawyers.[2] From 1990 to 1993, Picardo studied jurisprudence at Oriel College, Oxford.[1] His studies were supported by the grant system introduced by Joe Bossano's Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party government in 1988.[2] Oriel College paid tribute to Picardo's election by flying the flag of Gibraltar,[3] and Picardo has also spoken at Oriel Law Society since his election.[1][4] Picardo then studied at the Inns of Court School of Gray's Inn and was called to the bar by Middle Temple in 1994.[5][6]

Legal career

In September 1994, Picardo joined Hassans, the largest law firm in Gibraltar, as an associate. He became a partner in 2000.[7] He was appointed as a Queen's Counsel on 12 June 2014.[8]

Political career

Picardo was a co-founder of the Gibraltar National Party in 1991, the predecessor to the Liberal Party of Gibraltar. In 2003, he joined the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party (GSLP) and was elected as a Member of Parliament (MP) for the GSLP in that year's general election.[9]

Picardo meets with Minister for Europe David Lidington in London on December 2, 2015.

Picardo has described what made him interested in politics as a lawyer in Gibraltar: "I started to wake up to politics and see what Hassan had done, and I started to understand what Joe Bossano was doing. I realised that if I had the ability to become a lawyer then I should use that ability also in the interests of Gibraltar. Gibraltar is a place where all of us have to pull our weight; we all have to do what we can and I wanted to do what I could in politics." Picardo became the leader of the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party in 2011, taking over from Joe Bossano. He won the 2011 election, forming a coalition government with the Liberal Party.[2]

Picardo signing the book of condolence for Queen Elizabeth II at Lancaster House on 17 September 2022

Picardo said that the "crowning achievements" of his first term were two new schools, a university, a new bank, and a new 700-berth marina. He also appointed Gibraltar's first Minister for Equalities and passed the Civil Partnerships Act in 2014, ending legal discrimination against same-sex couples.[10] In October 2015, he said that if Brexit took place, Gibraltar "would have to carefully reconsider what the economic prospects for Gibraltar are and how we would be positioned."[2]

In the 2015 election, the GSLP-Liberal Alliance under Picardo won a second term in office, defeating the Gibraltar Social Democrats led by then Leader of the Opposition Daniel Feetham. [1]

In the 2019 election, the GSLP-Liberal Alliance once again under Picardo won a third term in office, defeating both the Gibraltar Social Democrats led by Leader of the Opposition Keith Azopardi and Together Gibraltar led by Marlene Hassan-Nahon. [2]

In the 2023 election, the GLSP-Liberal Alliance won a fourth term in office under the leadership of Picardo. They once again defeated Leader of the Opposition Keith Azopardi and the Gibraltar Social Democrats but this time by a far narrower margin than 2019. The Alliance saw a 2.46pp decrease in their share of the popular vote and lost a seat to the GSD, resulting in a historic first for Gibraltar in which the Opposition held eight seats instead of the traditional seven.[11]

During the election campaign, Picardo stated that the 2023 election would be his last, and he plans to step down as Chief Minister of Gibraltar and Leader of the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party at some point throughout the 14th Parliament of Gibraltar. He also took the opportunity to suggest he would be in favour of Health Minister Gemma Arias Vasquez replacing him in both positions but noted that the party would ultimately select who succeeds him.

Personal life

Picardo was married to Justine Olivero. They have now been separated. She also works for Hassans law firm, and they have two sons and one daughter, Sebastian, Oliver and Valentina.[2]


  1. ^ a b c "CM to address Oriel College Law Society". Gibraltar Chronicle. 11 November 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Profile of chief minister Fabian Picardo". The Guardian. 8 October 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  3. ^ "Oriel College, Oxford, Flies Gibraltar Flag". Panorama. 12 December 2011. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  4. ^ "Oriel Law Society's Annual Dinner 2016". Oriel College, Oxford. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  5. ^ "Gibraltar profile - Leaders". BBC. 17 February 2016. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  6. ^ "Calls to the Bar". The Independent. 13 October 1994. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  7. ^ Neate, Rupert (2 June 2013). "Hassans: the law firm with close links to Gibraltar's government". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  8. ^ "Hassans' partners appointed Queen's Counsel". Hassans. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  9. ^ "Q&A With Gibraltar's Honorable Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo". Forbes. 30 June 2014. Archived from the original on 4 April 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  10. ^ Simmonds, Charlotte (30 June 2015). "The Gib Statesman: Chief Minister interviewed". New Statesman. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  11. ^ Dagless, George (16 October 2023). "Pedro Sanchez Sent Congratulatory Message To Gibraltar Election Winner". EuroWeekly News. Retrieved 16 October 2023.

External links

  • Gibraltar profile. Chief minister: Fabian Picardo at BBC News.
  • (in Spanish) Fabián Picardo, nuevo primer ministro de Gibraltar
Party political offices
Preceded by Leader of the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party
Political offices
Preceded by Chief Minister of Gibraltar
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