Sunday 25 February 2018

Voting for 'stoner' TD Ming is a 'waste', says rival

Luke 'Ming' Flanagan TD
Luke 'Ming' Flanagan TD
Labour Senator Lorraine Higgins, with (left) Labour deputy Ged Nash. Photo: Tom Burke

Daniel McConnell Political Correspondent

VOTING for "stoner" TD Luke 'Ming' Flanagan in the European elections would be "a waste", as he would have "no influence", one of his rival candidates claimed last night.

Mr Flanagan yesterday announced he would contest the European elections on May 23. Making the announcement via Twitter, Mr Flanagan said he will be a candidate on a largely euro-sceptic platform.

Labour Senator Lorraine Higgins, who is also contesting the election in the 15-county Midlands Northwest constituency, said Mr Flanagan would have no "influence" if elected.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Ms Higgins said: "Why waste your vote on a stoner who would have no influence, has delivered nothing as a TD, and is effectively a soapbox? Labour will be part of the largest group in parliament.

"In saying that," she added, "I wish him well."

Mr Flanagan, through a spokesman, said he had no response to Ms Higgins's comments.

The legalising-cannabis campaigner's entry into the race throws the field in the four-seat constituency, which covers the northern half of the country, wide open, given his high profile since being elected a TD.

"I have made the decision to contest the European Election Constituency of Midlands North West," he said in his statement. "I am doing so because I believe Ireland needs to elect people to the European Parliament that carry with them the message that we have gone too far with this European project," he added.

Mr Flanagan, who received 8,925 first preference votes in Roscommon-South Leitrim in the 2011 general election, said that Ireland is "now no longer a member of a community, we are a member of a Union. A Union which kicked us when we were down. A Union that took the side of the bondholders and left us with a bill of €70bn."

He criticised what he called the "rejoicing from this Government" on supposedly regaining our sovereignty.

Irish Independent

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