Saturday 1 October 2016

Labour 'should skip a generation' when picking leader

John Brennan

Published 02/03/2016 | 02:30

Former Labour Party leader Pat Rabbitte has said the party should 'jump a generation' when choosing its next leader
Former Labour Party leader Pat Rabbitte has said the party should 'jump a generation' when choosing its next leader

Former Labour Party leader Pat Rabbitte has said the party should "jump a generation" when choosing its next leader.

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Speaking on the final episode of the 'Front Bench' - one of two Irish Independent election podcasts - he said the "sensible" thing for the party to do in the aftermath of its disastrous General Election was to jump a generation when picking a new leader.

"The parliamentary party will have the main say on that before it goes to the membership - I think the sensible thing would be to jump a generation," he told the panel.

"Although it may well be that if we're confronting another election in nine to 18 months it might be best to have the likes of Brendan Howlin lead that interim arrangement," he explained.

This comes after Labour suffered huge losses with the likes of Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, Alex White, Ged Nash, Joe Costello and John Lyons all failing to regain their seats.

Mr Rabbitte said the party would have to do an analysis of what went wrong and how best to proceed quickly as it was "likely" that the party could be faced with another General Election later this year or in 2017.

The former leader was also critical of several parties in the aftermath of the election.

He launched scathing attacks on what he called "the manic lunacy of the ultra left", saying that they were "destructive" and only seemed to "give a voice to the angry".

He was also critical of the Social Democrats, whose three leaders - Róisín Shortall, Stephen Donnelly and Catherine Murphy - were all re-elected.

He called them a "flag of convenience" for the three TDs and said that they were likely to have been re-elected anyway.

He maintained that the real social democratic party in the country was the Labour Party.

Irish Independent

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