Thursday 23 November 2017

'He has many crowning achievements' - Paul Kehoe is supporting Leo Varadkar

Minsiter Leo Varadkar and Minister Paul Kehoe at the Riverside Park Hotel last week.
Minsiter Leo Varadkar and Minister Paul Kehoe at the Riverside Park Hotel last week.

Kathy Armstrong

Leo Varadkar has "many crowning achievements" and is the best choice to be the next Fine Gael leader, Deputy Paul Kehoe said this morning.

As Varadkar and Simon Coveney go head-to-head to fill Enda Kenny's role, Deputy Kehoe said he is backing the Social Protection Minister for the job.

Speaking on The Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk, he said: "I will be supporting Minister Leo Varadkar for leadership of the Fine Gael party and for Taoiseach of this country.

"I've known Leo for many years, he's remained a very good friend and someone I greatly admire for his political skills, his personal skills and I am very proud to say that I will be supporting Leo Varadkar.

"I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with Simon Coveney, we're very lucky in Fine Gael to have two excellent candidates, it's a decision I've thought about and I will be supporting Leo.
"I have many reasons why I will be supporting Leo and I know he would make an excellent leader of the Fine Gael party and an excellent leader of this country."

Read More: 'The most capable politician of my generation' - Paschal Donohoe backs Varadkar

SOCIAL Protection Minister Leo Varadkar is the favourite with the bookies to succeed Enda Kenny, though he is in a close race with Cabinet colleague Simon Coveney. Mr Varadkar (left) was last night at odds of 4/9 with Paddy Power Betfair, while Mr Coveney was at 13/8. In distant third is Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, whose odds were at 22/1 last night.
SOCIAL Protection Minister Leo Varadkar is the favourite with the bookies to succeed Enda Kenny, though he is in a close race with Cabinet colleague Simon Coveney. Mr Varadkar (left) was last night at odds of 4/9 with Paddy Power Betfair, while Mr Coveney was at 13/8. In distant third is Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, whose odds were at 22/1 last night.

He also claimed that some of Varadkar's achievements from his various ministerial positions show why he would be ideal to lead the party.

He said: "There are many crowning achievements that Leo Varadkar can be proud of from his ministerial roles.

"Leo was appointed Minister for Transport Tourism and Sport, he had industrial relations negotiations that were carried out extremely well.

"During the biggest recession of the history of the state, he oversaw The Gathering, which I believe was a major tourism initiative and had a major part in the recovery of our economy.

"He also was part of reducing the VAT rate for the hospitality sector, if you talk to any hotelier or anyone in the hospitality sector and they'll say that's one of the major reasons they can attract overseas visitors to Ireland.

"In health something that has been going for years is the development of the National Children's Hospital and under his leadership of health he finalised the location.

"The most important thing here is that as a father of three young children and thanks to decisions under Leo's leadership I will now have a National Children's Hospital to take them to and there are many other fathers and mothers and young children who are happy to see that decision made.

Read More: FG leadership battle is Varadkar's to lose after strong start leaves Coveney struggling

"When it comes to social protection, he has looked after the self-employed, a group no other Social Protection Minister has in a number of years.

"He introduced the social welfare increases in the last budget and more importantly as an urban TD he introduced the social scheme for farmers and fishermen.

"He has many accolades he can be proud of from his five or six years as a minister."

Fine Gael parliamentary party endorsements for leader

The Fine Gael parliamentary party makes up 65pc of the total electorate.

That makes each of the 73 members' votes worth 0.9pc of the total ballot.

Of the remaining electorate, 230 party councillors account for 10pc, while the remaining 25pc is rank and file members.

Leo Varadkar
Simon Coveney

Total: 45

Total: 19

Ministers: 17

Ministers: 5

TDs: 16

TDs: 5

Senators: 11

Senators: 8

MEPs: 1

MEPs: 1

Richard Bruton -MinisterSimon Harris - Minister
Frances Fitzgerald - MinisterDamien English - Minister
Michael Ring - MinisterDara Murphy - Minister
Eoghan Murphy - MinisterDavid Stanton - Minister
Sean Kyne - MinisterMarcella Corcoran Kennedy - Minister
Joe McHugh - MinisterKate O'Connell - TD
Helen McEntee - MinisterMaria Bailey - TD
Charlie Flanagan - MinisterSean Barrett TD
Paul Kehoe -MinisterHildegard Naughton - TD
Patrick O'Donovan - MinisterPeter Fitzpatrick - TD
Regina Doherty - MinisterTim Lombard - Senator
Mary Mitchell O'Connor - MinisterJerry Buttimer - Senator
Paschal Donohoe - MinisterPaudie Coffey - Senator
Heather Humphreys - MinisterJames Reilly - Senator
Pat Breen - MinisterColm Burke - Senator
Catherine Byrne - MinisterJohn O'Mahony - Senator
Andrew Doyle - MinisterPaul Coghlan - Senator
John Paul Phelan - TDGabrielle McFadden - Senator
Noel Rock - TDDeirdre Clune - MEP
Tony McLoughlin - TD 
Alan Farrell - TD 
Michael D'Arcy - TD 
Tom Neville - TD 
Josepha Madigan - TD 
Pat Deering - TD 
Jim Daly - TD 
Brendan Griffin - TD 
Ciaran Cannon - TD 
Colm Brophy - TD 
Peter Burke - TD 
Fergus O'Dowd - TD 
John Deasy - TD 
Joe Carey - TD 
Neale Richmond - Senator 
Catherine Noone - Senator 
Paddy Burke - Senator 
Martin Conway - Senator 
Michelle Mulherin - Senator 
Maura Hopkins - Senator 
Ray Butler - Senator 
Frank Feighan - Senator 
Maria Byrne - Senator 
Joe O'Reilly - Senator 
Kieran O'Donnell - Senator 
Brian Hayes - MEP 
Undeclared
Enda Kenny - Outgoing Party Leader *Martin Heydon - Party Chairman *
Michael Noonan - MinisterMichael Creed - Minister
Bernard Durkan - TDSean Kelly - MEP
Mairead McGuinness MEP  

* Outgoing leader Enda Kenny and party chairman Martin Heydon will not make an endorsement

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