Independents call for easy transition for Fine Gael leadership

Independent ministers have warned that the Fine Gael leadership should not interfere with Government and have called for a seamless transition.

Sean Canney, minister of state at the OPW, has said that politicians from both inside and outside Fine Gael must now be “mindful of what they say and do” as there is an overall fear that one wrong move could destabilise Government.

However, his fellow Independent Alliance member John Halligan has said “it would not be a good idea” for Mr Kenny to step down immediately.

A spokeswoman for Climate and Communications Minister Denis Naughten said he would not be getting involved in internal politics.

Ministers are due to meet for their weekly cabinet meeting today. However, it has been indicated that the agenda is lighter than usual given all that is going on with the leadership of Fine Gael.

Mr Canney yesterday said with Brexit negotiations on the horizon it is “important that all ships are steady” and that the leadership change does not impact on this.

“If there is to be a change I would hope it would be done in a seamless way to allow the coalition government continue with its work,” Mr Canney said.

“My view is that it’s an internal matter for the Fine Gael and I would not like to comment on that.”

Mr Canney’s remarks come after Mr Halligan said he does not believe it would be a good idea to change Taoiseach immediately. Speaking over the weekend he said the transition should be left for some months to allow for the start of Brexit negotiations.

Speaking on RTÉ, the Waterford TD said a number of backbench Fine Gael TDs had been “pathetic” and had treated Mr Kenny disgracefully in recent days.

“It reminded me of vultures in the Serengeti, circling a wounded animal,” said Mr Halligan.

“I think the man should be given some dignity.”


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