Perry says FG had 'policy' to get him off ticket
Embattled Fine Gael TD John Perry believes that there is "a long-standing policy" within the party to stop him from contesting the General Election.
The former junior minister is putting up a furious fight to be added to the ticket in Sligo-Leitrim but has so far failed to convince Fine Gael headquarters that he deserves a second chance after losing out in the local convention.
"I am the most loyal supporter of Enda Kenny and have been for a long time, but there is a long-standing policy to stop me from going," he said.
Mr Perry told the Irish Independent that if he was prevented from running as a Fine Gael candidate, other TDs will worry that a similar situation could happen to them in the future.
However, sources said that all four sitting Oireachtas members from the constituency had agreed on a two-candidate strategy.
"The local organisation was of the same view. Party headquarters didn't interfere in the process one bit," said a source.
The other sitting TD in the constituency, Tony McLoughlin, has been selected to contest the election, alongside former TD Gerry Reynolds.
"John is desperate, but I can't see it happening," said a party source.
Mr Perry has found himself at the centre of controversy in recent years over his business dealings but said he had made a full "confidential" settlement with his creditors and was fully tax compliant.
"It is the subject of a confidential deal. But it is settled and there is a tax clearance cert in my office in Sligo," he said.
He said if he wasn't he would not have been put on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).