'Averil Power quit Fianna Fail because of constituency politics' - Party leader Micheal Martin hits back at senator's comments
Published 25/05/2015 | 13:49
Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has claimed Averil Power’s decision to quit was because she wanted to be the party’s only candidate contesting the next general election in her constituency.
Mr Martin claimed Ms Power asked him to 'orchestrate' it so she would be the only Fianna Fail candidate in Dublin Bay North.
He said her decision to quit followed former TD Sean Haughey announcing his intention to contest the selection convention.
Ms Power described Mr Martin as a “leader without followers” as she quit the party this morning.
Speaking to RTE Radio One, Mr Martin said her comments were “disingenuous” and “unfair”,
The Fianna Fail TD said he was 'disappointed' by her decision and said he was 'convinced' it was about constituency politics.
He said she approached him and asked him to ensure she was the only party member to contest the general election in her constituency.
However, Mr Martin said he would not overrule the party’s ‘one member, one vote’ policy. He also internal polling showed she would not win a seat on her own.
He insisted Ms Power was not laughed at during a parliamentary party meeting when she raised issues about campaign for the same sex marriage referendum.
He said he 'went out on a limb' to ensure she was elected by councillors to the Seanad in 2011.