Saturday 17 August 2019

Former Justice Minister Alan Shatter refuses to back Enda Kenny as Fine Gael leader

Alan Shatter and Enda Kenny
Alan Shatter and Enda Kenny

Niall O’Connor

Former Justice Minister Alan Shatter has refused to back Enda Kenny to remain on as Fine Gael leader following the party’s disastrous election result.

In a scathing critique of the party’s performance today, Mr Shatter accused the party of being “obsessed” with marketing and focus groups and failing to recognise that its campaign was in freefall.

READ MORE: Shatter and White among big casualties 

“In Fine Gael there is an issue with election messaging. The obsession with focus groups and marketing, the use of outside consultants , an incapacity to, during the course of that campaign, to recognise when things were going wrong,” he told ‘Today with Sean O’Rourke’.

Mr Shatter said that as leader of Fine Gael, Enda Kenny has “serious questions” to answer in relation to the failings of the campaign. He declined to say whether Mr Kenny should remain on in the position.

READ MORE: Pressure on Kenny grows as FG rues fierce backlash 

Mr Shatter lost his seat in the new three seat constituency Dublin Rathdown, having been beaten by his colleague Josepha Madigan.

The ex-minister hit out at a last minute vote management strategy introduced by headquarters which involved an instruction to voters in parts of the constituency to vote No 1 for Ms Madigan and No 2 for Mr Shatter.

Mr Shatter said he believes voters in his constituency were “grievously misled”.

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