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Cox tests waters for FG nomination

FINE Gael presidential hopeful Pat Cox last night began canvassing party TDs and senators to assess support for his campaign to get the party nomination.

Just a day after he was admitted to the party, the former European Parliament president introduced himself to members of the parliamentary party as they entered their weekly meeting.

Mr Cox is expected to announce his official candidacy for the Fine Gael presidential nomination tomorrow.

Fine Gael now uses the meeting room on the fifth floor of Leinster House, which was previously occupied by Fianna Fail -- Mr Cox's first party.

The former Fianna Fail candidate, PD TD and Independent MEP began introducing himself to the parliamentary party membership. But he did not address the meeting.

"He was in the room but he left before the meeting started. He was outside floating. He was just hanging around," a party TD said.

Mr Cox said he intended to spend the next few days assessing "what level of support may exist for my becoming the Fine Gael nominee for the Presidency".

Irish Independent