Saturday 26 May 2018

Independent TD Canney resigns role as assistant government whip

Canney is to continue to support the government on confidence and budgetary matters

Seán Canney
Seán Canney
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

INDEPENDENT TD Seán Canney has resigned as assistant government whip saying he doesn't want speculation over his future in the role to be a "distraction".

The move comes after his decision to leave the Independent Alliance and means he will lose out on the allowance of €15,000 that comes with the job.

His departure from the group of independent TDs cast doubt on whether or not he could continue as assistant government whip.

Mr Canney told Independent.ie that he informed Taoiseach Leo Varadkar of his decision to step down from the job today.

He is to continue to support the government on confidence and budgetary matters, despite his departure from the Independent Alliance.

The Galway East TD said last week that his continued support of the government is "not about a position or money".

This afternoon he said his resignation as assistant government whip was "my decision and my decision alone".

He added: "I made the decision so that there'd be no distraction for government" saying it is dealing with "serious matters" at a national and local level and "They're the things we need to concentrate on".

Mr Canney parted ways with the Independent Alliance after a row with its other four TDs.

When the government was formed it was agreed that the position of OPW minister would be shared by Mr Canney and current office holder Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran. They flipped a coin to decide who would take the job for the first year, with Mr Canney winning.

The office was handed over to Mr Moran last summer, but there then a dispute over who will be the minister for the year ahead.

The Independent Alliance last week put out a brief statement noting Mr Canney’s departure from the group and saying: “we wish him well in the future”.

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