Enda Kenny to address Fine Gael leadership issue ‘next week’

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has told his parliamentary party that he will address the issue of the Fine Gael leadership next week at a meeting in Leinster House.

The confirmation by Mr Kenny will calm nerves among some rebel TDs, who had concerns Mr Kenny may stay on for some time.

Mr Kenny had pledged previously to address the leadership question over recent months, including after St Patrick’s Day and then after an EU summit in April.

However he has now surprised observers as party figures were not expecting him to make any announcement about his position ahead of a number of events this week. These include a visit by EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier to Leinster House as well as by former British PM Tony Blair to a meeting of the European People’s Party in Wicklow.

Party sources said Mr Kenny’s confirmation he will address the leadership next week will remove any doubts about his intentions.

It is expected the meeting could see Mr Kenny announce his intended date of departure. This will allow the Fine Gael leadership race to begin.

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