Sunday 24 September 2017

Leo Varadkar 'hopes it won't be awkward at Cabinet' during Fine Gael leadership race

Leo Varadkar
Leo Varadkar
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

Leo Varadkar has admitted things could be awkward in Dail Eireann as the Fine Gael leadership campaign gets underway.

The Social Protection Minister is the early favourite against rival Simon Coveney to fill Enda Kenny's shoes.

Speaking outside Government buildings today, Mr Varadkar said "he hopes it won't be awkward at Cabinet" now that leadership race is underway.

He also spoke about the possibility that some of those who have publicly backed him could end up voting for Housing Minister Coveney.

He said: "A lot of people have made declarations. Making a declaration isn't just saying you're going to support somebody.

"It's signing a piece of paper, nominating a candidate and putting it into headquarters so I think it would take a lot for an individual to withdraw a declaration for another candidate but obviously that can work both ways."

Housing Minister Simon Coveney. Photo: PA
Housing Minister Simon Coveney. Photo: PA

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He also spoke of his horror after an explosion in Manchester last night killed at least 22 people and has injured dozens of others.

Mr Varadkar said: "First of all I want to add my name to the condemnation of the attack.

"Everybody knows well there's a very large Irish community there and I also extend my sympathies to the victims and the families involved."

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