Enda Kenny could quit as Fine Gael party leader within days
The Taoiseach is feeling the heat.
Enda Kenny could step down as leader of the Fine Gael party within days, as pressure continues to mount on the Taoiseach in the wake of the scandal involving Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe.
On Wednesday night, the current minority government narrowly survived a motion of no confidence that had been proposed by Sinn Féin.
However, that may only have served as temporary relief for the Taoiseach, believed to be facing a motion of no confidence in his leadership if he doesn’t step down in the coming days.
According to RTÉ and a number of media outlets this morning, senior Fine Gael figures, including Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney, called for a parliamentary meeting scheduled for next Wednesday (at which the Taoiseach indicated his leadership could be discussed) to be brought forward to as early as today (Thursday), a request that was not agreed to.
But with Coveney and Varadkar having already stated that Fine Gael would need to be ready for an election at any time and with the Taoiseach having made it clear he would not be leading the party into the next election, his relinquishing of the leadership could be brought about earlier than might have been expected.
“The next few days will tell a lot but it’s looking increasingly likely that this will be wrapped up very quickly. He will be given an ultimatum privately today by the heirs to the throne and the rest of the party will follow if he doesn't go," one Fine Gael TD told RTÉ.
If and when Kenny does step down, the election of a new Fine Gael leader must be completed within 20 days of a vacancy arising, according to the Fine Gael constitution.
Interesting times ahead…
*This piece was originally written by Conor Heneghan for JOE.ie