Bruised Kelly seeks Howlin showdown over leadership row
Alan Kelly is demanding a showdown with Brendan Howlin over his Labour Party leadership humiliation, the Irish Independent can reveal.
Mr Kelly wants Mr Howlin to row back on his public denials that he threatened to step aside in the event of a leadership contest being called.
The Tipperary TD is adamant that the ultimatum - allegedly issued by Mr Howlin during a private meeting of the parliamentary party last week - was the catalyst for other Labour deputies refusing to second his nomination.
Mr Howlin has denied that he ever made the threat and said on Friday that if Mr Kelly had secured his nomination, then an election would have taken place.
However, party members in Limerick have said their local TD Jan O'Sullivan told a meeting of the party last week that she couldn't support Mr Kelly's nomination because Mr Howlin would not contest a leadership race.
Last night, Mr Kelly told the Irish Independent that he intends to address "concerns and misgivings" he has about the events of recent days. But he insisted that he will play a "central part" in the "revival of my party".
One well-placed source, however, said that Mr Kelly will demand a "climbdown" from Mr Howlin in a move that will cause further tensions within the party. "He is not prepared to let this go," the source added.