FINE Gael’s Leo Varadkar said his party colleague, Lucinda Creighton was wrong to voice her concerns about the party’s fundraising “in front of the TV cameras” instead of at a party meeting.
Varadkar, who was one of the rebels returned to the front bench after last month’s failed leadership coup, has denied widespread disunity in the party and said the majority of Fine Gael TDs “just want to get on with it”.
In a speech to the Magill summer school in Donegal last week, Ms Creighton criticised her party for accepting money from developers whose loans have been transferred to NAMA.
Yesterday she was quoted in a Sunday newspaper saying she would not stand for “threats and bullying me into submission”.
Waterford backbencher, John Deasy, accused the party leader, Enda Kenny of issuing threats against Ms Creighton by saying other candidates would be run in her constituency.
Mr Deasy said some of the parliamentary party members were “horrified that a party spokesperson can effectively threaten a sitting TD”.
But communications spokesman Mr Varadkar dismissed the row: “Of course you’ll have a running mate in your constituency, we all will, that’s not a threat,” he said.
He said the argument surrounding Ms Creighton’s comments at the Magill summers school in Donegal last week “could have been kept in-house”.
“All parties have divisions,” according to Mr Varadkar, “but most parties don’t feel the need to display their division all over the place.”
He told Newstalk Radio that his colleague “was wrong to go down to Glenties and display her concerns before the TV cameras before discussing it in the parliamentary party or with members of the front bench”.
But Mr Varadkar said one of the strengths of Enda Kenny is that he can “tolerate different views” and that “there is not going to be retribution or anything like that”.
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