Outgoing Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring has given his backing to Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar to remain in the role despite a relatively poor election campaign for the party.
“I want him (Varadkar) as leader and I want him to stay as leader,” Ring told The Mayo News. “He has a lot of qualities and a man who should be Taoiseach after this election. If not I hope he stays on as leader as he has a bright future. We intend to be in government now but if not that is fine and well and we will build in opposition,” Minister Ring added.
There was some initial moves against Varadkar yesterday with former Waterford TD Paudie Coffey calling on the Taoiseach to step down as Fine Gael leader.
“I think Leo should reflect on his position, I think he’s done his best,” Coffey told WLRfm. “He didn’t achieve what he set out to do unfortunately – I think he should step aside as leader of Fine Gael and allow a new re-building of the party from the grassroots up again.”
Fianna Fáil Deputy Leader Dara Calleary said he has full confidence in Micheál Martin and is not interested in becoming Fianna Fáil leader.
“No [interest]... we are going to be the biggest party in the Dáil and it is a long way since 2011 when we stood here with 20 seats. Today is a set back but he is absolutely the man to lead.”