Friday 22 September 2017

THE FLOATING VOTER PODCAST: 'Leo didn’t put me up to it' says FG's Noel Rock on calls for Enda to step down

On this week's show, Kevin Doyle was joined by Philip Ryan and Niall O'Connor as they look back on the week in Irish politics and talk to FG's Noel Rock about the future of Enda Kenny's leadership.

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Fine Gael’s Noel Rock was first out this week to call upon Enda Kenny to set out a timeline for stepping down and subsequent events have shown that he wasn’t too early in his calls on the Taoiseach.

However, speaking on this week’s Floating Voter, Rock has denied that Leo Varadkar was behind his outspoken views.

“No, not at all,” said Rock.  “The situation was becoming increasingly unsustainable and it was clear we need a new leader.”

“I’ve told the Taoiseach why I said what I said.  We shouldn’t have blind, unquestioning loyalty to anybody.  I’m sure the message was received loud and clear and now there’s a queue of people making the same call but more need to come out and say it for the public record.  We need a timeline in the next two weeks.”

Rock told the show that ‘sometime before the summer’ is what he has in mind for the new leader to be elected and says Leo Varadkar would be an obvious choice for the party.

Floating Voter panellist, Philip Ryan, agrees.

“Leo Varadkar will walk it.  He has the star quality Fine Gael needs.”

But is he the Bertie candidate, asks presenter, Kevin Doyle.   Is Leo someone who is popular but is based around sound bites?

As to how it will play out now for Enda Kenny, Niall O’Connor says one must have sympathy for the Taoiseach.

“The heart of his legacy is he tried to do the best for the country.  He won’t allow a heave against him and will go in his own time.  However, he should have gone after Christmas.  The writing was on the wall then.”

Each week on the Floating Voter, INM's political team discuss the main issues affecting Irish politics, bursting the bubble around Leinster House.  New episodes on Independent.ie every Thursday.

Click here subscribe to the Floating Voter on iTunes.

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