Taoiseach likely to defy Dail vote calling for closure of communications unit

By Daniel McConnell and Fiachra Ó Cionnaith

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will defy a Dáil vote to disband the controversial strategic communications unit (SCU), insisting its existence is not the business of TDs.

“It is not a competence of the Dáil to determine how individual departments are structured,” his spokesman told the Irish Examiner.

The Dáil’s spending watchdog, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), wants to grill Mr Varadkar over the future of the unit.

TDs today voted 85 to 49 in support of a Sinn Fein motion calling for the €5m spin unit to be dismantled.

Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, and Labour all voted against the SCU’s continuation, but Mr Varadkar rejected any such calls, saying an internal review of the unit is to be presented to Cabinet next week.

The review, conducted by Martin Fraser, secretary general to the Government, is unlikely to conclude it did anything wrong, but minor changes should be made, according to sources.

Read more on this story in tomorrow's Irish Examiner.

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