Wednesday 21 February 2018

FF 'game plan' to cause election with Enda Kenny in place, says Deasy

Fine Gael TD John Deasy. Pic Tom Burke
Fine Gael TD John Deasy. Pic Tom Burke
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

FIANNA Fáil's "game plan" is to cause another general election while Enda Kenny remains as Taoiseach, according to prominent Fine Gael TD John Deasy.

In an extraordinary radio interview today, Mr Deasy said Fianna Fáil's performance in relation to the budget is proof that the country is now at the beginning of an "election cycle".

The Waterford TD said he believes Mr Kenny will "dragged out" of the Fine Gael leadership post "kicking and screaming".

But he said up to 15 Fine Gael TDs and senators want to see Mr Kenny gone by Christmas, adding that he would consider being part of a group that tables a motion of no confidence in his leadership.

In what are scathing remarks, the outspoken rebel TD accused Mr Kenny of "rewarding failure" by handing a number of ministries and Seanad positions to people close to him.

"(Enda Kenny) is skilled at one thing -  keeping the power base in Fine Gael and protecting people," Mr Deasy told Sean O'Rourke on RTÉ radio.

"I think when a political party rewards failure like Fine Gael and Enda Kenny has done, it's in serious trouble," he added.

Mr Deasy named James Reilly, Fine Gael's deputy leader, as a example of Mr Kenny rewarding "failure".

He also said he turned down the chairperson position on the housing committee, which comes with €10,000 in additional expenses.

"Someone has to say no, someone has to say we are rewarding failure badly," Mr Deasy said, adding that there is very little principle in Irish politics.

On the upcoming Fine Gael leadership race, Mr Deasy said he thinks it will be a close contest between Leo Varadkar.

 "Right now, frankly, a change, no matter who it was, would be better than anything," he told the programme.

He said both politicians are "work horses" and that he has not decided which candidate he will support.

When it was pointed out that he is excluding Frances Fitzgerald from the race, Mr Deasy replied:

"Yes completely."

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