Sunday 18 February 2018

Patrick Nulty resigns from Labour party over 'broken promises'

Labour TD Patrick Nulty
Labour TD Patrick Nulty
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

A LABOUR TD has quit the party claiming that its Cabinet ministers have brought the entire political system into disrepute.

Dublin West representative Patrick Nulty hit out at Eamon Gilmore and his constituency colleague Joan Burton as he resigned last night.

He accused the ministers of sacrificing basic democratic demands “for their own political ambitions”.

Deputy Nulty was only elected to the Dail 18 months ago to fill the seat left vacant after the death of ex-minister Brian Lenihan.

Shortly after entering Leinster House he put out of the Labour parliamentary party for voting against the Government but his resignation from the party altogether will be seen as a blow to the leadership.

"I no longer believe that membership of the party is of any assistance in advancing the political ideas which form the cornerstone of my value system," he said.

The newly independent TD – who will run directly against Joan Burton in the next election – said that his ex-colleagues were trying to “micro manage the personal finances of hard pressed families”.

In particular he hit out at Ms Burton’s decision to cut Child Benefit which Labour had vowed to protect before the last election.

"These are not the actions of a party that is acting in the interests of working people and a just economic recovery,” he said.

He went on to say that entering coalition with Fine Gael was “a disaster” for Labour and the country.

“Governments in the past have been led by Fianna Fail and Fine Gael – the Podge and Rodge of Irish politics. There is hardly the width of a cigarette paper between them.”

Despite this he praised the “many decent, hardworking Labour members” who he said are working for a better Ireland.

"However the leadership of the party, and in particular the cabinet ministers who have sacrificed core social democratic demands for their own personal political ambitions, have brought the entire political system into disrepute."

Mr Nulty said trust in the political system has been broken.

"This means there is a need for new ideas and social movements that are accountable to citizens, not powerful interests," he continued.

"The most recent example of the Government hitting the most vulnerable hardest is the announcement that children with special education needs will not receive the resource teaching hours they require next September.

"The Government has imposed savage cuts to housing adaptation grants specifically provided to people with disabilities who need alterations to their home.

Labour has already lost for TDs and an MEP from its parliamentary party. Roisin Shortall, Colm Keaveney, Tommy Broughan, and Willie Penrose and MEP Nessa Childers are all outside the party whip.


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