No wooing us, say rebel Labour TDs

Rebel TDs who quit Labour in disgust at its record in Government insist a new leader will not be able to "woo" them back into the party fold.

Former junior health minister Roisín Shortall and veteran TD Tommy Broughan have made it clear that they will not rejoin Labour’s Dáil ranks, whoever wins the battle for the party’s leadership.

“I’m unwooable. It is still the party that I resigned from,” Ms Shortall said.

The ex-minister resigned in 2012 after accusing Health Minister James Reilly of engaging in “stroke politics” and insisting she had not got the backing she needed from the Labour leadership to push through its policies.

Fellow rebel Mr Broughan also indicated that he would not rejoin his old comrades once a new leader is elected on July 4.

“Those in the leadership of the party should don sackcloth and ashes and go to James Connolly’s grave for the things they have done,” the Dublin TD said.

“I’m two and a half years out of the party and I think there is a incredible appetite in the country for a new left- of-centre party.

“Rather than sneak off to Brussels, Eamon Gilmore could have critiqued a Fine Gael government, and then Labour might have ended up as the head of a government.”

Ms Shortall and Mr Broughan have tried to form a new left-of-centre block in the Dáil in order to gain greater speaking time on the opposition benches.

With both deputies having a good chance of retaining their Dublin seats as Independents at the expense of Labour candidates at the next general election, the new Labour leader would be eager to try and entice them back to the fold if that was possible.

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