Monday 20 November 2017

First Independent Minister breaks her silence on FG leadership battle

Minister Katherine Zappone. Photo: Tom Burke
Minister Katherine Zappone. Photo: Tom Burke
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

CHILDREN'S Minister Katherine Zappone has become the first independent member of the Cabinet to comment on Fine Gael's leadership struggle.

But Ms Zappone kept her cards close to her chest and declined to name her preferred successor to Enda Kenny. Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney are the two main candidates for the position. 

"I'm glad to see now that it's off,  the leadership contest. And, I have very good relationships with both of the gentlemen who are running and I'd look forward to working with either of them,"  she told Independent.ie. 

"I think they both have great capacity and skills and I think will bring strong leadership to the post," she added. 

"I do not," she said, when asked if she had a preferred candidate for the job. 

"I will not be doing that. As an independent, it's obviously really something for the Fine Gael party." 

Ms Zappone, commenting before a speaking engagement in Trinity College Dublin today, also said she was happy in her ministerial position and hoped she could keep it, regardless of the victor. 

"I am very happy where I am and I've begun what I consider to be a radical new approach to childcare in this country. And I want to stay where I am," she said. 

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