Friday 21 July 2017

Leo Varadkar: 'I don’t think that it’s time for Enda Kenny to depart'

Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar. Photo: Tony Gavin
Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar. Photo: Tony Gavin
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar does not believe that now is the time for a change of leadership of the Fine Gael party.

Mr Varadkar asserted his support for Mr Kenny yet again on RTÉ’s The Week in Politics Sunday afternoon

“I don’t think that it’s time for Enda Kenny to depart. We’ve only just formed a government, we’ve only just managed to get one through after a very difficult election,” he said.

Mr Varadkar emerged as the clear frontrunner to succeed Mr Kenny in an opinion poll in the Irish Times this week but the minister said he does not see a vacancy being open at present.

“The position is that Enda Kenny will decide in his own time when he wants to relinquish leadership,” he said.

Read more: Rebel TDs move to force Taoiseach into early departure

A handful of backbench TDs have held talks over whether they will table motions on Enda Kenny's leadership of Fine Gael while Chief Whip Regina Doherty (inset) reversed her earlier position that the Taoiseach should outline a timetable for his departure
A handful of backbench TDs have held talks over whether they will table motions on Enda Kenny's leadership of Fine Gael while Chief Whip Regina Doherty (inset) reversed her earlier position that the Taoiseach should outline a timetable for his departure

"He’s said that he doesn’t intend to lead the party into the next general election and he will go at a time of his choosing. I don’t think it would be right to push him, I don’t think it would be the right thing to do."

A number of backbench TDs have already 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.

Government Chief Whip Regina Doherty has also said that a timeline for Kenny’s eventual departure would be helpful.

But Varadkar said that he doesn’t think a timeline for Kenny’s departure would be a positive step.

Read more: In a week of shocks and tremors, we saw the cracks opening under Enda

“I don’t think it’s a good idea that any Taoiseach or any Prime Minister should give a timeline for their departure,” he said.

"We see what’s happening across the water in the United Kingdom where David Cameron announced he is going in a few months and as a result of that he has no authority as Prime Minister now. You have a leadership contest going on that’s practically paralysed their government.

Online Editors

Promoted articles

Also in this section