Jack O'Connor bids to become Labour Party chairman

Jack O'Connor, general president of SIPTU has thrown his hat into the ring to become the next chairman of the Labour Party, writes Daniel McConnell, Political Editor.

Mr O'Connor, according to a party spokesman, has contacted leader Brendan Howlin to let him know that he will be running for chair of the Labour Party at its April conference.

Responding to the news, Mr Howlin said: "Jack and I share the same broad world view, and he will make a very interesting candidate for Chair of the Labour Party.”

“We may not agree on every issue, but as the son of a trade unionist, I believe I could work very constructively with Jack, and that he will bring enormous experience to the role if elected,” he added.

Confirming his intention to seek nomination, Mr O'Connor later told the Irish Examiner said that he wants to play his part in the struggle to deliver better rights for workers.

"I did advise them that I am seeking the nomination to become chairman. I haven't yet launched any campaign or anything like that as of yet," he said.

Asked why he is going for the position, he said: "We have an opportunity here to achieve a considerable amount of the democratic programme of the State, in terms of collective bargaining rights for workers."

"We must also strive to house all our people and work towards a universally free healthcare system."

Mr O'Connor said the time was now right for him to seek the nomination now that Labour are no longer in Government.

"Why now, well I didn't think it would have been compatible to be chairman while the party was the junior coalition partner in Government," he said.

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