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Coveney vows to reject state car

FINE Gael transport spokesman Simon Coveney vows not to accept a state car if he becomes a minister after the next General Election.

Mr Coveney is the party's most senior-ranking frontbench member in Cork and is widely expected to be appointed to Cabinet in a Fine Gael coalition.

"If I become a minister, I will not accept a state car. I'm telling you that now. You can quote me on it," he said at the Young Fine Gael national conference in Charleville, Co Cork.

Fine Gael is promising to halve the spending on ministerial cars and introduce a pool of drivers for ministers to use.

Mr Coveney also dismissed suggestions from Fine Gael supporters that it was not the time to run the country and Fianna Fail should be left to "clean up their own mess".

"If I hear another Fine Gael person saying that, I'll put them out of the room," he said. "The real test of political challenge is when times are tough. Fine Gael (policy) is not some type of compromise," he added.

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