Saturday 18 November 2017

Fine Gael 'needs to get its house in order' - opposition TD, as Coveney expresses confidence in Kenny's judgement

Enda Kenny has been urged to stand down
Enda Kenny has been urged to stand down
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

Fianna Fáil has said the Government needs to 'get its house in order' following a week of political upheaval and increasing speculation about an imminet leadership battle.

While Taoiseach Enda Kenny has repeatedly declined to say when he will step down, despite pressure from his party, Fianna Fáil's Michael McGrath has called for the focus needs to return to real issues.

"Fine Gael needs to get is house in order. We can't afford a situation where the Fine Gael party is convulsed by a leadership issue, which spills over then into the performance and the functioning of government and that's our real concern," he said, speaking on RTÉ News.

Earlier today Housing Minister Simon Coveney, who is widely expected to contest the party leadership when Mr Kenny eventually steps aside, said he trusted the Taoiseach's judgement about when is the right time to leave.

"I think there's an acceptance that, look, there's going to a leadership contest and that's not some far point in the future," Mr Coveney said, speaking in Sligo.

"I also think there's huge respect and trust in Enda Kenny that he is the person who decides when that happens.

Read more: The contenders to be our next Taoiseach - profiles, predictions and bookie odds

"I don't think people should confuse what has been a difficult week for the Government with an imminent challenge to Enda Kenny's leadership in Fine Gael.

"That's certainly not how I'm approaching things. I think I've been very clear with all of my colleagues in terms of my views on that," he added.

On Thursday Mr Kenny said he was focused on the challenges facing the country when asked by reporters in Dublin's north inner city when he would be bowing out.

Earlier on Friday Alan Farrell became the first TD to break ranks and call on the Taoiseach to stand aside.

Alan Farrell is the first of the party's TDs to launch a direct attack on the leadership and described Mr Kenny's position as untenable.

"Unfortunately, I no longer have confidence in the ability of Enda Kenny TD to lead Fine Gael," he said.

"I wish to acknowledge Enda Kenny's unwavering commitment to public service and to working in the best interests of our society and the Irish public," Mr Farrell said.

Online Editors

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