Saturday 10 December 2016

Fine Gael TDs consider motion calling on Enda Kenny to reveal departure timeline

Published 09/07/2016 | 19:45

Taoiseach Enda Kenny Photo: Conor McCabe Photography
Taoiseach Enda Kenny Photo: Conor McCabe Photography

A number of rebel Fine Gael TDs are considering putting down a motion demanding that Enda Kenny clarify his exit plans in a move which will heap further pressure on the Taoiseach.

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Independent.ie has confirmed reports that a number of backbench TDs have held secret talks to discuss whether they will call, as soon as next Wednesday, on the Taoiseach to outline his plans for stepping down as party leader.

It comes as a number of senior Fine Gael figures came out strongly in support of the embattled Taoiseach – saying he should go at the time of his own choosing.

But Mr Kenny is coming under intense pressure to spell out his departure plan from rebel backbenchers.

He has already said that he will not lead Fine Gael into the next election but some TDs want him to step down sooner rather than later.

Read more: 'Damaged' Enda Kenny expected to step down by the spring

There is a now a growing consensus within Fine Gael circles that a leadership contest in the spring is a likely scenario but that may be too late, some backbenchers feel.

The Fine Gael leader's credibility was openly questioned this week at a tense parliamentary party meeting.

Furthermore, the mood within the party is at a low point - particularly following a recent opinion poll which placed Fine Gael a massive nine points behind Fianna Fáil.

Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar is seen as the clear frontrunner to succeed Mr Kenny.

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