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Leo should head straight for India to win business, jokes Bertie

 

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Bertie Ahern Picture: Frank McGrath

Bertie Ahern Picture: Frank McGrath

Bertie Ahern Picture: Frank McGrath

Ex-taoiseach Bertie Ahern has joked that Leo Varadkar should immediately head to India on a trade mission if he wins the Fine Gael leadership contest.

Mr Ahern, who held the office of Taoiseach from 1997 until 2008, made the comment as he addressed a conference of former world leaders in Dublin yesterday.

Among the guests were a number of Indian policy experts with whom Mr Ahern discussed the prospect of Mr Varadkar's election. The Social Protection Minister's father is a doctor who is originally from Mumbai, while his mother is a nurse from Waterford.

"I found it quite interesting that our Indian colleagues were able to tell me so much about the likely favourite [to be Taoiseach]. He is already a big favourite in India," Mr Ahern said.

"When I was told that his community in India was one of the small communities, I said 'that's interesting'. But then I found that community has 140 million people."

And he joked: "Maybe the first thing we should do is send him on a trade mission to India. We have good contacts here that will help us."

Already Mr Varadkar's expected election is making global headlines.

The Dublin TD has previously spoken about his background, saying: "I'm not a half-Indian politician, or a doctor politician, or a gay politician for that matter. It's just part of who I am, it doesn't define me, it is part of my character I suppose."

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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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