Leo Varadkar poised to become Ireland's first gay premier

Varadkar, the 38-year-old son of an Indian immigrant father and an Irish mother, today was elected leader of the nation's governing party, Fine Gael, The Guardian reports.

Bar an unexpected development, Varadkar will be voted in as prime minister when parliament next sits on June 13 and become the once-staunchly Catholic country's first openly gay premier and the youngest person ever to hold the office.

Leo Varadkar has become Ireland's first gay leader.

Varadkar said he was "delighted and honoured" to win.

Varadkar's sole opponent, Housing Minister Simon Coveney, whose roots in the party run deep, won the backing of almost two-thirds of the party's regular members.

The piece outlined how the 38-year-old politician will replace outgoing Taoiseach Enda Kenny after winning the Fine Gael leadership contest on Friday evening.

Leo Varadkar's election as the new leader of the Fine Gael party has not only made national headlines - but has also captured the attention of worldwide media outlets.

Varadkar, who is also the son of an Indian immigrant, will be the fourth openly gay head of government in history: Luxembourg's current prime minister, Xavier Bettel, is also openly gay. He took a majority of the votes to be declared as the 11th leader of the party as counting concluded in Dublin.

The membership make up 25pc of the overall poll, meaning that Mr Coveney now commands a lead of 16.3pc against Mr Varadkar's 8.3pc.

However, Mr Varadkar has come under criticism for his comments on progressive issues and workers' rights.

"There's a referendum on marriage equality coming up too, and I just want to be honest with people", Varadkar said back in 2015 on RTÉ Radio 1. "It's not something that defines me", he said.

Leo's cousin Shirish Varadkar told ANI that India was a big market for foreign countries and the to be PM would be helping to tie up the relationship between both countries.

The popular minister has campaigned on same-sex marriage and liberalising abortion laws since he first won a seat in the Dáil in 2007.

  • Leroy Wright