Friday 6 December 2019

Alan Kelly enters the race to succeed Eamon Gilmore as Labour leader

Daniel McConnell, Group Political Correspondent

Junior Transport Minister Alan Kelly has formally thrown his hat in the ring to become leader of the Labour Party, has learned.

Mr Kelly says he will definitely run for one of the Labour Party positions and will decide which one in the coming days

Ministers Joan Burton and Alex White are the front runners to the next leader of the Labour Party, one of ‘gang of eight’ who called on Eamon Gilmore to go has said.

The race to become Mr Gilmore’s successor begins in earnest today as nominations open.

Alan Kelly is set to run for either leader or deputy leader also.

In a tweet this afternoon, Junior Minister Sean Sherlock says he will not contest the leadership but did not rule out a run for the post of deputy.

Dublin North-Central TD Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has said he thinks the leadership contest will be between the Social Protection Minister and Deputy Leader, Joan Burton, and junior health minister Alex White.

However, the gang of rebels who tabled the motion of no confidence in Mr Gilmore, has drawn stinging criticism from one Senior Minister.

Alan Kelly
Alan Kelly
Tanaister Eamon Gilmore (right), the Labour Party chief and Foreign Affairs Minister in the coalition government announces his resignation as the leader of the Labour party in front of his ministerial colleagues at the department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin. PA
Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton TD at the announcement that Eamon Gilmore TD has resigned this as Labour Party leader at the Department of Foreign Affairs. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Minister Joe Costello said it was a sad day. Picture:Arthur Carron
Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore pictured last year
Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore, the Labour Party chief and Foreign Affairs Minister in the Republic's coalition government announces his resignation as the leader of the Labour party. PA
Minister for Foreign Affairs & Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore TD at the announcement that he has resigned this as Labour Party leader at the Department of Foreign Affairs , Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn has said he resented the way a motion of no confidence was tabled against Mr Gilmore,  who faced two motions of no confidence after the party's poor performance in the European and Local Elections.

He announced his resignation yesterday and said he would stand down in July when his successor is chosen.

Mr Quinn said Mr Gilmore should have been given the courtesy and been called by one of the eight Labour members who supported the motion to pick up the phone and tell him.

Mr Quinn’s comments are seen as a criticism of Mr White in particular who was very close to Mr Gilmore and his inside team.

On his way into Cabinet, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin said he will consider what role he has to play in the Labour Party's future over “the next day or so”.

Minister Howlin did not rule himself out as running for the Labour leadership.

He said the party had serious business ahead and Labour should remain at the heart of reform.

Mr Howlin said Labour needed to respond very strongly to the message from the ballot boxes.

Meanwhile, Labour TD Ciara Conway said many TDs in the party had not been listened to particularly in the party’s need to address social issues.

She also said that the party had been given a “written warning” in its heavy defeat in the 2013 Meath East By Election, but nothing changed.

She said she had no regret in taking the action in calling on Mr Gilmore to depart.

The Waterford TD said there was no indication that the Tánaiste was to step down prior to the so-called 'Group of Eight' putting forward the motion.

Ms Conway said the next party leader needs to be someone who will attack social issues with vigour. She said there is talent in the party and reason to look to the younger generation in filling the leader and deputy leader roles. Ms Conway and Mr Ó Ríordáin have said they would consider putting themselves forward in the running as deputy leader.

Further Reading

- Gilmore quit ahead of minister's threat to force his hand

- Noonan: History will be kind to Eamon Gilmore

- Who is next? The contenders to take Labour leadership crown

- Daggers were drawn but he fell on his own sword

- New Labour leader must have courage to drag the party out of its comfort zone

- 'Gang of eight' faces backlash for shafting Tanaiste

- Party blew off course when the Gilmore Gale signed up for austerity

- Final hours in reign of leader

- Kenny leads the tributes for 'man of integrity'

- History will be kind to pragmatic Gilmore

- Taoiseach moves to ease fears on stability of Coalition

- Gilmore shows dignity in manner of departure

- Genuine affection on menu for dinner with staff  

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