Joan Burton and Alan Kelly consider pact to retain Labour roles

Labour leader Joan Burton and her deputy leader Alan Kelly are considering a pact which would see the two of them remain at their posts.

It had been widely expected they would stand down after the disastrous general election result which saw the party return with just seven TDs, but it now appears Ms Burton and Mr Kelly are considering remaining on.

“Nothing has been decided but the idea cannot be discounted at this stage,” a party source told the Irish Examiner. Ms Burton has said she will not reveal her intentions until a government is formed. Members of her inner team have spoken about wanting to see her depart her role with dignity.

However, the Irish Examiner has learnt Ms Burton and Mr Kelly, who have had an acrimonious relationship, are willing to co-operate to retain their posts.

Cork East TD Sean Sherlock is seen as a possible successor to Ms Burton as is current public expenditure minister Brendan Howlin.

On Government formation talks, the Labour Party looks set to abstain from the vote on Enda Kenny on Thursday. It had been speculated that Fine Gael attempts to woo Labour support had been successful. It had been suggested Ms Burton and her inner team of advisors were open to the idea of playing some part in government. However, that has now been ruled out with one source ruling out any “major shift in the party’s position”.

“There is no appetite to enter the fray at this stage,” the source said. The matter will be decided at a meeting of the seven TDs tomorrow

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