Thursday 5 December 2019

'Bring it on' - Richard Bruton welcomes prospect of Christmas election but says he has full confidence in Eoghan Murphy

Richard Bruton. Photo: Owen Breslin
Richard Bruton. Photo: Owen Breslin
Crisis: Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Allison Bray

ENVIRONMENT Minister Richard Bruton said he welcomes the prospect of a Christmas election if his cabinet colleague Eoghan Murphy doesn’t survive a no-confidence motion in the Dail tomorrow.

“Bring it on,” he told reporters in Dublin this morning when asked if the motion results in a snap election call by the Opposition.

However, he said he has “absolute confidence” in the embattled housing minister who faces the no-confidence motion announced by the Social Democrats last week. The party is expected to table a no-confidence motion tomorrow night.

Mr Bruton said he believes Mr Murphy is “doing a great job” and defended his record despite record levels of homelessness and a housing market that has become unattainable for many people.

Crisis: Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Crisis: Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

“I think people forget that it was the housing disaster that brought this country to its knees. It was the toxic relationship between property and banking that destroyed this country and he’s had to re-build a housing model on the ashes of that disastrous scheme that was there before,” he said of the 2009 recession.

“He’s delivering 25pc per annum increase in housing supply, both in social housing and in private housing. That is an exceptional achievement coming from the base that he had to work off. So I think he deserves people to look at the evidence of what he’s delivering and the changes that he’s making.”

He shot back at Opposition calls for Mr Murphy’s resignation as “political opportunism by one of the parties of the Dail.”

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