Tuesday 24 April 2018

Varadkar and Coveney hold 'positive and constructive' first meeting

Leo Varadkar's who was elected Fine Gael leader is congratulated by Simon Coveney Pic: Mark Condren
Leo Varadkar's who was elected Fine Gael leader is congratulated by Simon Coveney Pic: Mark Condren
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

NEWLY elected Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar has held a “positive and constructive” first meeting with his leadership rival Housing Minister Simon Coveney.

Mr Varadkar and Mr Coveney met this afternoon to discuss the future of Fine Gael after a historic leadership election.

After the meeting, a spokesman for Mr Varadkar said: “It was a positive and constructive meeting where they discussed Minister Varadkar’s plans for the party and the country.”

Mr Coveney’s spokeswoman said: “The focus is on putting a government together and the intensive work around that, not on individual.”

Mr Varadkar defeated Mr Coveney by 60pc to 40pc of the vote but failed to win over the party membership who overwhelmingly supported the Housing Minister.

Asked if he would appoint Mr Coveney as Tanaiste after his election victory on Friday, Mr Varadkar said: “we have a Tánaiste, it's Frances Fitzgerald and I think she's doing an excellent job."

Yesterday, spokespersons for Mr Varadkar and Mr Coveney remained tight-lipped over what positions were discussed at their meeting.

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