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Hanafin to stay in Cabinet despite Cowen rebellion

Tourism Minister Mary Hanafin confirmed today she voted to remove Taoiseach Brian Cowen as Fianna Fail leader, but will not resign.

Even though she has put herself firmly in the rebel camp, Ms Hanafin insisted she had not been part of a plot to oust Mr Cowen.

Ms Hanafin, who wants to run for the leadership, said she did not want to influence colleagues by declaring her hand before last night's secret ballot.

"I did vote against the motion and the Taoiseach knew exactly what I was doing," she said.

"I chose to do it this way. I was not part of the campaign that was going on. It was a motion of confidence, it wasn't a leadership contest. It wasn't about coming out in favour of one person or the other. If it had been then I might have been active in actually canvassing for a person, but it wasn't."

Less than 24 hours after voting against him, Ms Hanafin went on to say she had confidence in Mr Cowen.

"I've confidence in the Taoiseach and I spoke to the Taoiseach last night," the minister said.

"I didn't offer my resignation nor did he ask for it, we both indicated we were very happy that I continue doing the job in Government that I do."

Ms Hanafin is the only Cabinet minister, other than resigned Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin, to publicly declare she went against the Taoiseach.

Mr Cowen has said he is not seeking any more resignations.

PA Media