Saturday 31 January 2015

Taoiseach confirms Joan Burton is Ireland's new Tanaiste

Niall O'Connor, Political Correspondent

Published 04/07/2014 | 16:10

New leader of the Labour Party Joan Burton is congratulated by her predecessor Eamon Gilmore
The new leader of the Labour party Joan Burton waves to supporters at the Mansion House in Dublin. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The Taoiseach has congratulated Joan Burton on her election as the new Labour Party leader, and he has nominated her for Tanaiste.

New Labour leader Joan Burton has made "no commitment" to any of her party colleagues regarding a place at cabinet.

Speaking as she entered the count centre at the Mansion House in Dublin, Ms Burton said that she intends to make the building of new homes a central priority for the government.

The Dublin West TD today romped home in the leadership contest as three out of four labour members supported her bid.  She secured 77.5pc of the vote and has now been formally endorsed as Labour leader.

Her competitor Alex White admitted that today is "Joan's day" as he entered the count centre.

He said he phoned Ms Burton this afternoon and congratulated her on becoming the new Labour leader.

However, Mr White's portion of the overall vote means he is in no way guaranteed a place at the cabinet table.

Ms Burton refused to say whether she will promote the junior health minister and said the make-up of the new cabinet will be discussed with the Taoiseach over the weekend.

Meanwhile, Eamon Gilmore today again refused to rule himself out of the EU Commissionership.

The issue of who becomes the next Commissioner is expected to be discussed by the Taoiseach and Ms Burton on Monday.

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