Burton elected as new Labour Party leader

Burton elected as new Labour Party leader

Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton has officially been elected as the new leader of the Labour Party.

Minister Burton won the leadership vote by 2,094 to 607 for Alex White.

She replaces Eamon Gilmore, who resigned as Tánaiste to facilitate her imminent appointment to the post by An Taoiseach.

Deputy Gilmore announced his decision to step down after the party’s poor performance in the European and Local Elections.

The question now among many at the count is if Junior Minister White has secured enough votes for a promotion to Cabinet - or if he will have to remain in his position, or get a consolation prize of the super junior post.

Junior Transport Minister Alan Kelly was elected as deputy leader.

Minister Burton promised to "focus relentlessly" on getting people and businesses back to work, and to make Ireland a better place "for all it's people, not just the wealthy and better off".

After the landslide victory over her rival, she said that she is proud that she has won the trust Labour members and her job now is to win the trust of the Irish people.

Ms Burton said she felt "very emotional" after the victory.

She became the 11th leader of the Labour Party, and the first women to hold the position.

Additional reporting from Mary Regan.

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