Update: Brendan Howlin claims Alan Kelly 'has no support in Parliamentary Party' for push

Update: Brendan Howlin claims Alan Kelly 'has no support in Parliamentary Party' for push

Update - 1.36pm: Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin has strongly dismissed the calls from Alan Kelly on Tipp FM for him to stand down this morning.

Mr Howlin said the Tipperary TD has no support in the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) and the support of only a small minority of councillors.

“There is not a single other parliamentary party member who supports the challenge. He has the support of a minority of councillors. We have had no formal proposition to the Central Council,” Mr Howlin said.

Mr Howlin, who is a TD for Wexford said such talk of changing leader is “entirely premature”.

“Most people in the party want us to get on with the job and certainly do not want us to go down the rabbit hole of some contest,” he said.

Mr Howlin told the Irish Times he tried to contact Mr Kelly twice by telephone but understood he was at a funeral and would speak to him later in the day.

Defending his style and mode of leadership, Mr Howlin said: “I know I have the support of everybody else in the parliamentary party to continue with the job."

1.20pm: New Labour leader 'not going to magically improve our poll ratings,' says Willie Penrose

Responding to Alan Kelly's interview about the Labour Party leadership, Willie Penrose chair of the Labour Party expressed his disappointment at Mr Kelly's call for Brendan Howlin to go.

Mr Penrose said: "I was disappointed by Alan Kelly's interview this morning on Tipp FM.

"I have no problem with anyone who has ambitions to lead the Labour Party, but if that's what anyone wants he or she should respect the Party's Constitution and the agreed processes through which the Party chooses its leader.

"We have a vibrant internal democracy unlike some other parties, and every Councillor, Senator and TD will have an equal chance to have their say at our meeting in Drogheda.

"The Labour Party has had three leaders in the space of five years. Having a fourth leader is not going to magically improve our poll ratings."

Mr Penrose said no one is sanguine about the poll figures, but Irish politics is still in a state of flux and, as a smaller Party, Labour's first preference score is affected by the range of new options open to voters.

It is a much more competitive environment with new, smaller left and centre-left parties out there, he said.

He added: "In the Labour Party, we have a collective leadership, and every one of our elected representatives has to share responsibility for the poll results.

Update: Brendan Howlin claims Alan Kelly 'has no support in Parliamentary Party' for push

"Under the Labour Party Constitution, we will have an election for Party Leader involving every member of the Party, on a one member one vote basis, after the next General Election.

"Until then we need to remain focused on explaining our policies and ideas to the public," he said.

12.58pm: Labour Senator tells Alan Kelly to discuss party leadership with party first, 'not Tipp FM'

A Labour Senator has said he is hugely disappointed with Alan Kelly's comments on the party leadership.

Labour's parliamentary party is to meet on September 16 with Brendan Howlin saying he wants an open discussion on the leadership.

Senator Kevin Humphreys said Mr Kelly should hold his fire until then.

Update: Brendan Howlin claims Alan Kelly 'has no support in Parliamentary Party' for push

He said: "I'd say to Alan 'let's stop the nonsense, let's work together as a party and if you want to have a discussion the right place for that is on the 16th of September and not on Tipp FM'.

"Do the courtesy to the parliamentary party to have the conversation in the room first, rather than on Tipp FM."

10.46am: 'He is not the right man to lead the party' - Alan Kelly calls on Brendan Howlin to go

Labour Leader Brendan Howlin is facing a heave as Tipperary TD Alan Kelly has said he “is not the right man to lead the party”.

Speaking on Tipp FM, Mr Kelly said he concurs with the view of more than a dozen of the party's councillors who have called for a change in leader.

Mr Kelly has largely kept quiet on Mr Howlin's position over recent weeks amid such calls, but today has effectively sparked a heave by expressing no confidence in his leader.

Mr Howlin resisted calls to meet with councillors, saying to do so before the party's think-in next month would be “unreasonable”.

The party has stagnated under Mr Howlin and shown no sign of recovery.

Update: Brendan Howlin claims Alan Kelly 'has no support in Parliamentary Party' for push

"We need a radical shake-up. We need to change the direction of the party. We need a different vision. We need far more energy," Mr Kelly said.

The former Environment minister said he would put his own name forward for a leadership contest if a vacancy arose.

Mr Kelly paid tribute to Mr Howlin for representing the party "wonderfully" over the years.

However, he said the party is no longer "connecting with the public".

He told listeners: "I think Brendan needs to consider what is best for the Labour Party into the future.”

"I certainly believe from a leadership point of view after two and a half years we haven't been able to turn the ship around.

"We haven't even looked like we're turning the ship around.”

Mr Kelly said the candidates being lined up for the next general election "deserve the best crack of the whip" and "that's not happening at the moment".

"If the position was vacant I'd put my name forward. I can't give out my vision of where I believe I would go,” he said.

Mr Howlin had to be convinced to stand for the leadership in 2016 when the party was reduced to just seven TDs.

Mr Kelly had wanted to contest the post but couldn't gain the necessary support among the other six TDs to get a nomination.

A response from Mr Howlin is awaited.

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Attempts to oust Labour leader ‘not orchestrated’Attempts to oust Labour leader ‘not orchestrated’

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Fourth Labour councillor calls on Howlin to stand aside as party leaderFourth Labour councillor calls on Howlin to stand aside as party leader


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