Saturday 3 December 2016

Faithful believe lady in waiting can lead them back from brink

Published 29/05/2014 | 02:30

28/05/2014 The Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton TD today announced her intention to run for Leadership of the Labout Party. She made this statement on the Plinth of Leinster House, Dublin. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne
28/05/2014 The Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton TD today announced her intention to run for Leadership of the Labout Party. She made this statement on the Plinth of Leinster House, Dublin. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne

Many Labour inmates of Leinster House do not love Joan Burton – but soon they may have to at least pretend to honour and obey her.

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As she told the nation "the limits of austerity have been reached", it became increasingly likely that ordinary Labour members may be ready to believe she might lead them back from the brink.

Minutes after she arrived on the plinth outside Leinster House, exactly at the appointed time of 2.30pm yesterday, it looked like the Labour Party leadership was hers to lose. In the hours before she formally launched her candidature many backbench TDs and some senators conceded that the feedback from their local members, who will ultimately decide, were "strongly pro-Joan".

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