Friday 20 April 2018

Burton warned not to enter a coalition

Acting Tánaiste Joan Burton. Photo: Frank McGrath
Acting Tánaiste Joan Burton. Photo: Frank McGrath
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

Labour Party leader Joan Burton has been warned to resist any renewed offers from Fine Gael to enter government as TDs continue to grapple over the party leadership.

Ms Burton is understood to have met Mr Kenny in recent days with Fine Gael sources suggesting Labour could be convinced to enter negotiations after today's vote for Taoiseach.

The party's seven TDs are due to meet at 11.30am and are expected to agree to abstain during the vote, which will take place in the afternoon.

But Labour figures are warning against entering any negotiations with Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil.

Acting Business and Employment Minister Ged Nash, who lost his seat in the General Election, said entering government would be an affront to the verdict of the electorate.

Mr Nash, who is a candidate in the Seanad election, also said he believed Labour members would not approve such a move.

Meanwhile, Labour TDs are today expected to discuss the prospect of Ms Burton stepping down as leader. So far, the Dublin West TD has said she will make her decision known once a government is formed.

But Labour sources say there is growing impatience over Ms Burton's refusal to declare her intentions.

She came under fire at a lengthy meeting of the party last week, which saw Cork East TD Sean Sherlock issue an expletive before storming out.

Acting Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin is seeking support for the leadership - but may not run if a contest takes place.

Labour's deputy leader Alan Kelly is also interested and is understood to have spoken to Mr Howlin about the issue in recent days.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News