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Tuesday 17 October 2017

Varadkar panics over FG 'Judas' accusations

Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar Photo: Tony Gavin
Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar Photo: Tony Gavin
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

Leo Varadkar's prospects of becoming the next Taoiseach have suffered a setback as he faces accusations of spearheading a campaign to oust Enda Kenny.

Senior Fine Gael figures believe Mr Varadkar has been orchestrating a behind-the-scenes plot to undermine Mr Kenny.

One Cabinet source said there was a "Judas Iscariot" element to the campaign. A second minister agreed, saying he believed Mr Varadkar was encouraging TDs to publicly express no confidence in Mr Kenny as Fine Gael leader.

Now Mr Varadkar's closest supporters are actively denying being behind the growing number of TDs opposing Mr Kenny.

Simon Coveney believes his chances will be enhanced if he is seen to allow Mr Kenny to decide his own fate.

Education Minister Richard Bruton is preparing to throw his hat in the ring and told the Irish Independent the party was "vulnerable".

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald will not seek the leadership. And there is anger at Michael Noonan's claim that Mr Kenny's departure is a long way off.

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