Harris Fails To Rule Out FG Leadership Bid During Mullingar Visit

At a media briefing at Mullingar hospital, where he visited the newly refurbished emergency department, Minister Harris said he was honoured to hold the job he does.

Harris is said to be getting pushed by his mentor Frances Fitzgerald.

Coveney wants an orderly and quick transition to a new leader soon after the Taoiseach returns from the USA after St Patrick's Day.

Fine Gael's vice-chairman said last week that he expected Kenny to inform the party's internal meeting on Wednesday of an exact timetable for his departure and hoped it would not be necessary to table a motion of no confidence in his leadership.

"I trust the Enda's judgement, that the Taoiseach will know what is the right time frame for any change of leader in Fine Gael, and much more importantly within the country".

He released a statement saying: "Everyone is waiting to hear from the Taoiseach".

"And I expect that message will be very clear by the time that parliamentary party meets on Wednesday, so I hope it doesn't happen and I don't think it was the right thing to do to lay down ultimatums to a party leader that has been in place for 15 years and Taoiseach for the last six years". The current situation is distracting and destabilising for the government, the party and the country. But if he fails to spell out his intentions in a clear fashion, he will undoubtedly face a motion of no confidence as early as Thursday.

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The Housing Minister made the remark despite insisting "we don't have a leadership contest that has kicked off yet" and taking a thinly-veiled swipe at Social Protection Leo Varadkar for pushing for Mr Kenny to resign quickly.

It seems the Foreign Affairs Minister hasn't got a handle on "Sunday banter".

  • Carolyn Briggs