Saturday 20 January 2018

Dragon's Den investor Gavin Duffy to moderate hustings between Leo and Simon

Dragon Gavin Duffy
Dragon Gavin Duffy

Kevin Doyle Group Political Editor

Dragon's Den investor Gavin Duffy will moderate the Fine Gael leadership hustings between Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney.

Both sides agreed with the party’s choice of convenor during a meeting with officials from Fine Gael headquarters this afternoon.

The nationwide debates get underway in Dublin tomorrow night before moving to Carlow, Ballinasloe and Cork.

Mr Duffy said he will act as "an independent, objective moderator".

Simon Coveney and Leo Vardkar
Simon Coveney and Leo Vardkar

 “I can honestly say the party is fielding two excellent candidates. My role is, through the questions submitted by members, to help inform the electorate for the next Leader of Fine Gael of the vision, policies and priorities of each candidate,” he said.

“These events are traditional style political hustings where each candidate is afforded sufficient and equal time to detail their qualifications, experience and ambitions for the Party and the country.”

The hustings are for Fine Gael members but will be streamed live on Facebook.

Following an introduction from the chairman and the convener, both candidates will deliver a ten-minute opening speech.

The two Ministers will alternate the order in which they speak over the course of the four hustings.

A question and answer session will then be convened by Mr Duffy, followed by an open forum to allow for questions from Fine Gael members.

Voting for almost 21,000 eligible Party members will take place nationwide at 26 polling stations from Monday to Thursday.

The Parliamentary Party will vote at Leinster House Dublin on Friday, 2 June from 8am to noon. Later that day the votes will be counted and the winner announced.

Fine Gael’s 73 parliamentary party member account for 65pc of the total vote, almost 21,000 party members make up 25pc and 235 local representatives (232 councillors and 3 Údarás na Gaeltachta members) have 10pc.

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