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Kenny vows to 'up his game' after media mishaps

FINE Gael leader Enda Kenny has attempted to reassure his frontbench after a series of dismal media performances.

As rumoured threats to the Mayo man's leadership surfaced again, he has moved swiftly to tell TDs he will "up his game".

The promise comes amid renewed speculation that sharks are circling within his own party.

However, his position seems safe with frontbench TDs happy that he has acknowledged the need to perform better in public.

In recent weeks, he struggled during a live television interview on the Late Late Show and again while on Newstalk radio.

It has now emerged that during a meeting of his party's frontbench last week, he apologised to members -- although he didn't mention the specific incidents by name.

Mr Kenny is understood to have told the TDs that he feels like he had a bad day on the football field.

"You have to up your game when you have a bad day," he said.



reshuffle

The Mayo man also made no reference to a rumoured reshuffle which could see Dublin South TD George Lee promoted to a key portfolio.

Some Fine Gael party members have been unsettled by Mr Kenny's performances, which were followed by an opinion poll which saw Fianna Fail jump four points.

A party spokesperson has confirmed to the Herald that one-to-one meetings will take place between Mr Kenny and all Fine Gael TD and senators in the coming weeks.

However, he denied it was anything more than a matter of good HR.

"Enda wants to do it. It's his way, his thing. He wants to talk to them, hear what's going on. There's absolutely nothing unusual about it. It's just good HR," the spokesperson said.

The party's hierarchy will also be placing a large emphasis on the leader's performance at the party's national conference next month.

The meeting in Killarney will include the opportunity for Mr Kenny to make a live television address.

Since the start of the New Year, he has attempted to boost his profile with a number of media interviews but Mr Kenny's popularity still remains low, given that his party are seven points ahead in opinion polls.

Supporters of Mr Kenny have always maintained that his personal rating is not important as long as the team is doing well.

While on the Late Late Show, he stalled when pushed by Ryan Tubridy on the issue of entering power with Sinn Fein.

Then a few days later he was clearly uneasy when Newstalk presenter Claire Byrne quizzed him on Fine Gael's stance in relation to water charges.

kdoyle@herald.ie


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