Alan Kelly enters the race to succeed Eamon Gilmore as Labour leader
Published 27/05/2014 | 11:32
Junior Transport Minister Alan Kelly has formally thrown his hat in the ring to become leader of the Labour Party, Independent.ie has learned.
Mr Kelly says he will definitely run for one of the Labour Party positions and will decide which one in the coming days
Ministers Joan Burton and Alex White are the front runners to the next leader of the Labour Party, one of ‘gang of eight’ who called on Eamon Gilmore to go has said.
The race to become Mr Gilmore’s successor begins in earnest today as nominations open.
Alan Kelly is set to run for either leader or deputy leader also.
In a tweet this afternoon, Junior Minister Sean Sherlock says he will not contest the leadership but did not rule out a run for the post of deputy.
Dublin North-Central TD Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has said he thinks the leadership contest will be between the Social Protection Minister and Deputy Leader, Joan Burton, and junior health minister Alex White.
However, the gang of rebels who tabled the motion of no confidence in Mr Gilmore, has drawn stinging criticism from one Senior Minister.
Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn has said he resented the way a motion of no confidence was tabled against Mr Gilmore, who faced two motions of no confidence after the party's poor performance in the European and Local Elections.
He announced his resignation yesterday and said he would stand down in July when his successor is chosen.
Mr Quinn said Mr Gilmore should have been given the courtesy and been called by one of the eight Labour members who supported the motion to pick up the phone and tell him.
Mr Quinn’s comments are seen as a criticism of Mr White in particular who was very close to Mr Gilmore and his inside team.
On his way into Cabinet, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin said he will consider what role he has to play in the Labour Party's future over “the next day or so”.
Minister Howlin did not rule himself out as running for the Labour leadership.
He said the party had serious business ahead and Labour should remain at the heart of reform.
Mr Howlin said Labour needed to respond very strongly to the message from the ballot boxes.
Meanwhile, Labour TD Ciara Conway said many TDs in the party had not been listened to particularly in the party’s need to address social issues.
She also said that the party had been given a “written warning” in its heavy defeat in the 2013 Meath East By Election, but nothing changed.
She said she had no regret in taking the action in calling on Mr Gilmore to depart.
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The Waterford TD said there was no indication that the Tánaiste was to step down prior to the so-called 'Group of Eight' putting forward the motion.
Ms Conway said the next party leader needs to be someone who will attack social issues with vigour. She said there is talent in the party and reason to look to the younger generation in filling the leader and deputy leader roles. Ms Conway and Mr Ó Ríordáin have said they would consider putting themselves forward in the running as deputy leader.