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Budget quitter Nulty broke his promises - Joan

LABOUR'S deputy leader has accused her former constituency colleague of breaking his pre-election promises.

Joan Burton has today broken her silence on the row over Patrick Nulty's Budget Day exit from the party.

The Social Protection Minister fired a parting shot, saying she was "pretty disappointed" by his behaviour.


Mr Nulty -- who was elected to the Dail just 42 days ago -- lost the party whip after voting against the austerity budget.

The Herald previously revealed the tensions that existed between the 29-year-old and Minister Burton in their shared constituency of Dublin West.

And there will be no love lost between the pair today after Ms Burton released a statement to the Herald which accuses him of reneging on his pre-election pledge.

"I am pretty disappointed. He made an election promise that he was going to act as a member of the Labour Party and to vote with the Labour Party. Obviously, he is free to vote as he sees fit," she said.

Mr Nulty refused to be drawn on the statement.

"I am not going to comment on that, I have nothing to say on her statement," he said.

The unrest in Labour over Mr Nulty's decision has been seized upon by his opponents.

Fianna Fail councillor David McGuinness -- who lost out on the Dublin West seat -- called for Mr Nulty to resign as a TD.

"He said he wanted to get into Leinster House to influence Government policy and stand up for the people of Dublin West. He has reneged on his word and I know that many people in Dublin 15 will be sore at his deception," he said.

Cllr McGuinness added: "It is clear now that Patrick Nulty has received a mandate from the people on October 27 which is ill-gotten. I believe that he has deceived the people of Dublin West. It is on these grounds that I would now ask him to consider resigning the seat."

Speaking to the Herald after voting against the government, Mr Nulty admitted that his party leader Eamon Gilmore was "not happy" with him.

"I told the party whip and the party leader that I could not stand over the Budget and that my mind was made up.

"[Mr Gilmore] was not happy but he accepted my decision, which was a very difficult one.

"In the end, I felt I had no choice but to vote against this savage Budget. Austerity is not working. We've had four consecutive austerity Budgets under Fianna Fail and I was not going to support another one," he said.