LATEST: Paschal Donohoe on upcoming FG leadership battle: ‘It's not my time’

LATEST: Paschal Donohoe on upcoming FG leadership battle: ‘It's not my time’

The Minister for Public Expenditure has said the Taoiseach will deal with the issue of his leadership this evening.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Sean O'Rourke, Paschal Donohoe refused to say if he expected Enda Kenny to name an exact date of departure but expected him to address the matter “conclusively”.

There have been suggestions in recent weeks that Mr Donohue would support Cork’s Simon Coveney rather than Leo Varadkar in the upcoming Fine Gael leadership battle but he refused to be drawn on his loyalties.

“Lots of people have speculated on what I may or may not do I will outline my intentions when the Taoiseach outlines what he is going to do. Anything up to that point would be speculation.”

He added: “Simon and Leo will be clear on what I'm going to do at the right point.”

Regarding his own plans to run for the leadership, he said “it's not my time”.

But he rejected the suggestion that this was because his Dublin Central seat is not seen as secure.

“That is the last thing on my mind., I’m focused on doing my job.”

Update 10am: Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald has refused to rule herself out of a bid for the Fine Gael leadership.

Enda Kenny is expected to outline his plans for stepping down at tonight's parliamentary party meeting.

Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar will contest the leadership election - with speculation that Education Minister Richard Bruton may also run.

LATEST: Paschal Donohoe on upcoming FG leadership battle: ‘It's not my time’

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald was asked this morning if there should be a third candidate in the race - and whether that should be her.

“Well look, there is no vacancy at present. We have to wait and see what the Taoiseach has to say later this evening and I’ll make my own position clear then.”

Update 9am: A former cabinet minister said Leo Varadkar has the majority of the support to be the new Fine Gael leader and Taoiseach.

Ivan Yates also claims there is no room for a third candidate in the race.

Fine Gael's Parliamentary Party will meet this evening where Enda Kenny is expected to announce plans for his resignation.

LATEST: Paschal Donohoe on upcoming FG leadership battle: ‘It's not my time’

Former Minister Ivan Yates says Leo Varadkar has an early lead over Simon Coveney in terms of support from TDs and Senators.

“I think a lot of them have made up their mind who they are voting for.

"There are constituencies like Meath where Senator Ray Butler, Regina Doherty and Helen McEntee are all I think supporting Leo, whereas in Waterford both John Deasy and Senator Padraig Coffey are supporting Simon Coveney," he said.

Earlier: The Taoiseach is to address the issue of his leadership at the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party this evening.

However it is unclear if Enda Kenny will spark an immediate leadership election or delay his departure until later this summer.

LATEST: Paschal Donohoe on upcoming FG leadership battle: ‘It's not my time’

The Taoiseach’s future is the third item on the agenda at tonight's Parliamentary Party meeting - after minutes of last week and matters arising.

Enda Kenny told them last week he would address what they had been reading in the papers this week.

While many believe that means he will announce he is stepping down and sparking a leadership contest, some believe he may play for more time and put off a contest until later in the summer.

No-one but the man himself knows his plans for sure, and he has remained as coy as ever giving nothing away even last night.

Launching the Nealon's guide political handbook he did talk about change being needed if democracy is to survive but in the foreword of the book he wrote his determination is unyielding.

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