Cowen forced to defend leadership

BRIAN COWEN was forced to defend his leadership once again last night, insisting he would not just “walk away” from his party following criticism at the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party meeting.

Kildare South TD Sean Power confronted the Taoiseach on whether he was the best person to lead Fianna Fáil.

The party was discussing funding and selection conventions for the next general election, which parliamentary party members were told will take place in 2012.

But Mr Cowen and senior ministers were told to get real, the elections would more than likely take place early next year.

Mr Power said: ”The big question was whether Brian Cowen is the best person to lead us into the next election.” He had privately expressed this to Mr Cowen in the summer.

Another TD present at the meeting said Mr Cowen was extremely annoyed at the comment and said: “If some people think I am going to just walk away, it’s not going to happen.”

It came just weeks after Mr Cowen said he was “not a Taoiseach on probation” after backbenchers had threatened a revolt following a late night drinking session and controversial radio interview at a party meeting in Galway.


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