Sunday 25 September 2016

TD Anne Ferris re-joins Labour after expulsion from party

Published 15/07/2015 | 20:37

Anne Ferris
Anne Ferris

Expelled TD Anne Ferris has re-joined the Labour Party after been forced out for voting against the Government on a bill proposing to legislate for abortion in the case of fatal foetal abnormalities.

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Speaking to Independent.ie, Ms Ferris said she wanted to re-join the party as she feels abortion laws are more likely to be reformed with Labour in Government.

“I still want to see the 8th Amendment repealed and I think the only way to achieve that is with the Labour party in Government,” she said.

However, Ms Ferris, who will contest a selection convention in Wicklow in the coming weeks, admitted it was unlikely Labour will push for a referendum before the current Dáil dissolves.

Read more: Labour party politician considers another vote against Government on abortion

In a statement last night, Ms Ferris said: “I’m really happy to be making a return to the Parliamentary Labour Party, and I would like to thank all my parliamentary colleagues for their support.

“I’m now looking forward to getting down to the business of contesting the General Election for Labour Party in Wicklow.”

Tanaiste Joan Burton said it was “really great” to have Ms Ferris back in the party.

“She is a great friend and colleague and has been an inspiration to us all when it comes to issues such as adoption and women's rights,” Ms Burton said.

“We are making great progress on Adoption Tracing legislation and I would to thank Anne for the contribution she has made in making this happen.”

Read more: Pressure on Labour and SF TDs as abortion bill set to come before Dáil

Labour chief whip Emmet Stagg said he was looking forward to Ms Ferris being formally selected as the party’s TD for Wicklow.

“Although outside the PLP, Anne has remained a Party member and hasn't voted against us since she lost the whip in February,” Mr Stagg said.

“I’m also aware that she is looking forward to being formally selected as a Labour candidate for Wicklow, and is already out campaigning on doorsteps in her constituency.”

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