Tuesday 17 January 2017

'I believe a contest is healthy' - Alan Kelly hints at preference for party leader election

Barry Lennon

Published 19/05/2016 | 14:13

Labour TD's Brendan Howlin & Alan Kelly during the Labour Party's Annual James Connolly Commemoration at Arbour Hill Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Labour TD's Brendan Howlin & Alan Kelly during the Labour Party's Annual James Connolly Commemoration at Arbour Hill Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Labour's Alan Kelly hinted his preference for an election of party leader, saying he believes a "contest is healthy."

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The Tipperary TD is expected to run if the party holds a vote after tomorrow's deadline for leadership nominations.

His colleagues Brendan Howlin and Sean Sherlock did not rule themselves out of any potential race when asked about running this afternoon.

Mr Kelly added that a competition is in the hands of just three of Labour's seven TDs as leadership candidates look for support of a seconder.

“Joan (Burton) is out because she is out-going leader, Willie (Penrose) is independent chair," Mr Kelly said.

"So if there is more than one person putting themselves forward... it falls down to three people to assess what is the right thing for membership of approximately 4,000."

“I believe contest is healthy but whether one will be elected or not that's really one for internal discussion."

Mr Kelly was speaking as the party announced plans to introduce a bill to ensure utilities like Irish Water remain in public ownership.

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