independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

'My position as Labour leader is safe’ insists Eamon Gilmore after by-election disaster

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore
Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore

TANAISTE Eamon Gilmore insists there is no threat to his leadership of the Labour Party because of the drubbing it received in the Meath East by-election.

Speaking in Dublin today for the first time since the result, which saw Labour drop to fifth with less than 5pc of the vote, Mr Gilmore said his leadership is not an issue.

He also insisted he had the support of every Labour Cabinet minister.

When asked if his leadership is an issue, he said: "No, it's not.

Leadership is about facing up to problems. And just as we faced up to the economic problems of the country when we took on the responsibility of government two years ago, we will face any electoral difficulties the Labour Party now has."

And when asked about a possible reshuffle or renegotiation of the Programme for Government, Mr Gilmore said it is "not the day to be making decisions on any one issue".

"I'm disappointed with the result, it was a bad result for the Labour Party, it is a result I intend to address, certainly not something that we're to ignore," Mr Gilmore said. "I think we're going to have to do some reflection on the result and look at what the implications are and what we need to do in the period ahead."

Mr Gilmore said "the challenge" now for Labour is to “convert the work we have done in creating a foundation for recovery into a real impact in people's lives".

"This was not  good result for the Labour Party, I don't intend to ignore it. The responsibility of leadership is to face into a challenge, just as two years ago we faced into the challenge of dealing with the economic and financial crisis the country was faced with.

"We're going to face the electoral difficulties the Labour Party has now as well. I intend to discuss with my colleagues and we will deal with it."

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