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"Ivan's a mercenary. He's been very wrong in the past."

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Enda Kenny

Enda Kenny

Ivan Yates

Ivan Yates

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Enda Kenny

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has hit back at Ivan Yates' criticisms of his leadership.

The Newstalk presenter launched a scathing attack on Mr Kenny, suggesting it was time for him to quit as Fine Gael leader before he loses the next general election.

But in a tough response, the Taoiseach said: "Ivan's a mercenary. He's been very wrong in the past."

The Taoiseach also firmly ruled out a general election in the course of 2015 as has been widely predicted.

Mr Kenny said the Government will run its full course into the spring of 2016.

Both Coalition parties are gearing up towards the next general election.

Mr Yates strongly suggested that Fine Gael should consider changing party leader if they are to overcome the serious political difficulties they find themselves in after the water charge debacle.

The presenter warned that Fine Gael will have serious difficulty winning the next election.

"The presumption that Enda Kenny must lead Fine Gael is not open to question - it should be," he wrote of Mr Kenny's leadership.

He also questioned Fine Gael's expected election strategy of presenting themselves as the people "who sorted out the mess".

Mr Yates said this is a history lesson and would not convince voters.

hnews@herald.ie

Online Editors