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Parties reject idea to TD's suggestion they unite for next general election

Labour, the Social Democrats, and the Greens have shot down Labour TD Sean Sherlock’s suggestion that the parties come together for the next general election, insisting that they plan to fight the campaign as individual parties.

A senior Labour spokesman said Mr Sherlock’s view is his “personal” opinion, while Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy and Greens leader Eamon Ryan, similarly downplayed the suggestion. Cork East TD Mr Sherlock stated in a Twitter post yesterday afternoon that he is in favour of the three parties “uniting” or “merging” to form a “radical” base for future election campaigns.

He stated: “One often thinks that @labour @greenparty_ie and @SocDems should be uniting (merging?), leaving personal egos to one side, to create a radical future based on climate action and speaking to the future of work?”.

Asked by the Irish Examiner to explain the proposal, Mr Sherlock said he believes there needs to be “a platform between like-minded parties” and that he is of the view such a move should be considered “in the medium to long-term future”.

However, despite Mr Sherlock’s enthusiasm for the plan, all three of the parties he would like to see involved shot down the proposal.

Asked if the party itself would be in favour of a shared platform with the Greens and Social Democrats, a senior Labour spokesman said Mr Sherlock sent “a personal tweet” and was not speaking on behalf of the party.

Mr Ryan said that while the parties listed by Mr Sherlock “have been working very closely” on some matters, “I don’t think that kind of proposal is likely”, as his party is “setting out its own agenda”.

Ms Murphy similarly said “it came as a surprise to us”, emphasising that while “they [Labour] raise this during election campaigns” her party is contesting Friday’s local and European elections independently of other parties.

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