Spring will not go for leadership role

Simon Brouder

NORTH Kerry Labour TD Arthur Spring has ruled himself out as a candidate for the party leadership and will instead back Social Protection Minister Joan Burton's campaign to lead the party.

Last week Deputy Spring, who was part of the so called "Gang of Eight" Labour party members who called for Eamon Gilmore's resignation in the wake of the local elections, said he was considering a bid for the party leadership.

However on Tuesday, following a week of intense local speculation about his intentions, Deputy Spring confirmed that he will not be entering the contest for either the leadership or deputy leadership of Labour.

His announcement came just hours before the deadline for nominations and followed discussions between Deputy Spring and Minister Burton.

Deputy Spring, the nephew of former Labour Leader Dick Spring, said that after consulting his family and political advisors, he had decided to back Joan Burton's Leadership bid.

"I won't be contesting either position and I will be endorsing Joan Burton, after consulting with her regarding her proposals for leadership," he said. "She is the person best suited at this point in time to lead the party."

"I spoke to Joan Burton myself and the style of leadership she proposes is more inclusive and more balanced. By that I mean more inclusive of members and of backbenchers and more balanced in that she sees the difference between the rural Ireland and Dublin recovery," said Deputy Spring.

"I consulted with party members and people I would confide in and the conclusion was Joan Burton had more to offer at this point in time to the party and the electorate," said Deputy Spring.

Minister Joan Burton and Minister of State Alex White are the only candidates in the race to succeed Eamon Gilmore with the contests due to be decided by July 4.


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