Labour rules out coalition with Fine Gael

Labour rules out coalition with Fine Gael

Labour has confirmed its intention to stay in Opposition after several days of speculation that the bruised party was considering returning to power with Fine Gael, writes Juno McEnroe, Political Correspondent.

Following its parliamentary party meeting today, Labour chairman Willie Penrose said that voters had given others a responsibility to govern and they should go ahead.

"It is the view of the Parliamentary Labour Party, that we did not get such a mandate," he said.

"Labour is a centre-left party and we have a proud history of being prepared to serve in Government.

"We are a party of action, not words, and pontificating and proselytising from the safety of the Opposition benches is not what we are about.

"In that way, we are different from many other parties.

"However, it is clear that on this occasion, the offering we made to the electorate to form part of a stable administration, was rejected."

It is understood that there a number of frustrated party members at the meeting questioned the leadership about weekend reports and about who had suggested Labour was considering re-entering Government with its former partners Fine Gael.

The Longford-Westmeath TD's statement today follows an email sent by Labour leader Joan Burton to members last night in which she said the preferred route for the party was to go into Opposition and attempt to form some kind of "alliance" with the Social Democrats and the Greens.

Ms Burton also revealed that failed candidates and TDs had been warned to be ready for a second General Election if one comes about.

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