LABOUR finance spokesperson Joan Burton’s Monday night performance on TV3 has become one of Twitter’s highest trending topics.
During an appearance on Tonight With Vincent Browne which has been widely described as a “meltdown” and led to a private discussion with Labour leader Eamon Gilmore, the potential future finance minister repeatedly interrupted fellow guest, Socialist Party leader Joe Higgins.
Throughout the show — available at www.tv3.ie — Twitter users sent messages criticising her display.
They included claims she “behaved like a child”, that the “attitude was truly awful”, concerns the party will not listen to alternative views, and that “Labour have lost my vote”.
When contacted by the Irish Examiner, a party spokesperson confirmed Ms Burton had discussed the issue with Labour leader Eamon Gilmore in the aftermath of the controversy yesterday.
The spokesperson would not say whether she had been privately rebuked for her performance or whether Mr Gilmore agreed with her stance.
Labour also failed to clarify if the aggressive approach was related to party concerns about potential votes being lost to the United Left Alliance.
However, he said after the discussion with Mr Gilmore, the Dublin West TD has decided to address any concerns over the matter herself.
“Joan mentioned this issue to the party leader herself and told him she would be responding to e-mails, tweets or letters she had received from members of the public.
“Given that she has been pre-occupied with the Finance Bill so far, she has not been able to do so yet,” the spokesperson said.
In a tweet sent yesterday in response to online criticism from potential voters, Ms Burton described the Monday night TV3 performance as “challenging”.
During the same TV3 show, Fine Gael Cork South Central TD Simon Coveney was also heavily criticised for his defence of party leader Enda Kenny.
When asked why he had faith in Mr Kenny just months after attempting to oust him, Mr Coveney struggled to respond.
* Twitter stream comments available at www.twitter.com, search “#vinb” or “joanburtontd”
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