FF’s Brian Crowley says he won’t stand for Aras
MEP Brian Crowley has said he will not be seeking a FF nomination to contest the presidential poll.
In a statement this afternoon the long-serving MEP said the party leadership had "demonstrated that it does not want an internal candidate to contest the election".
"There have also been many public statements by some parliamentary party members supporting that view of not running a FF candidate," Crowley added.
"It is very important to me that the status and dignity of the Presidential office not be diminished in any way, and for that reason, I will not be a candidate for a party that continues to be divided on its electoral approach.
"So, with much disappointment, I do not now feel free to seek the Fianna Fáil nomination for the presidential election.
"I am extremely grateful for the many offers of help from so many people around the country, and I sincerely thank them all for their support.”
In a statement issued later Mr Martin said he fully respected Mr Crowley's decision, describing him as "an excellent parliamentarian and a valued member of the Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party."
"The process remains the same for deciding the party’s strategy for the presidential election," Mr Martin added.
"I have established a sub-committee that is scheduled to meet next week. The Committee is tasked with submitting recommendations to the parliamentary party which will make the final decision in the coming weeks."