From the get-go Joseph Muscat expressed displeasure at the questions asked during the year the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder inquiry has been in business, often trying to blame the family’s lawyers but having no qualms about roping in the judges as well.

In some cases, he was particularly concerned about the quality of the witnesses the inquiry heard and his disdain for the ministers of the government that he led came strikingly through.

It was Joseph Muscat who brought up the subject of kitchen cabinets today. He referred in particular to Edward Scicluna. He spoke of his finance minister in creepily patronising terms as a frail, gullible man that can be easily swayed and made to say things he does not really mean. Essentially, Joseph Muscat said he believes Edward Scicluna never meant to use the term kitchen cabinet. It was a phrase that was somehow poured down his ear and he went along with it.

The finance minister. The genius who is supposed to have presided over the economic miracle of the best of times. This guy cannot prevent himself from testifying to things he knows about being untrue at an inquiry publicly examining his conduct if someone as wily as Jason Azzopardi throws a phrase like ‘kitchen cabinet’ at him.

“None of the ministers told me they believed there had been a kitchen cabinet,” he told the inquiry this morning. As if that proved there hadn’t been one. Or that ministers didn’t think there hadn’t been one. Or that ministers testifying at the inquiry about feeling having been left out were somehow not saying the truth.

“It’s not so clear cut,” Joseph Muscat said later to the inquiry again when commenting about what ministers had testified to the inquiry. All ministers bar Chris Cardona testified they told Joseph Muscat to fire Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi when they met Joseph Muscat privately. Joseph Muscat tried to soften what he was about to say in response, to diffuse the impact on the ears of Labour Party supporters.

But he wanted to board to know what he thought. His ministers lied to the inquiry. It wasn’t true they had told him to fire Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi.