Belfast Telegraph

Alan Kelly: Fianna Fail and Fine Gael must work together and form government

Labour deputy leader Alan Kelly has told Fianna Fail and Fine Gael to "cop themselves on now" and form a government.

The outgoing environment minister and would-be successor to Joan Burton said it was rubbish for the country's two biggest parties to suggest there are massive issues between them.

"It's 2016 lads, it is 100 years since the Rising. Civil war politics are over," Mr Kelly said.

"Fianna Fail and Fine Gael need to 'cop themselves on' now and form a new government for the next five years.

"All of this pretending that there are massive issues between them is rubbish. They need to come together, work together and put a government in place for the good of the people."

Mr Kelly issued the advice after narrowly retaining his seat in Tipperary where he failed to reach the quota of 12,000 votes.

He refused to be drawn on whether he would attempt to oust Ms Burton who has only led the party for two years.

"Rebuilding the party starts tomorrow and I am going to make sure I am working with everyone that we organise, we rebrand and we redevelop our party and redevelop our message because obviously we need to do that," Mr Kelly said.

He added: "Joan always has my support - that's always the way it is. But, those of us who won seats in this Dail need to step up to the plate collectively and look at what we need to do as a party."

Mr Kelly claimed that Labour went into Government with Fine Gael in 2011 more concerned with the national interest than the future of the party or political careers.

He said the two biggest parties should do likewise.

"We as a party put the country first five years ago," Mr Kelly said.

"It is now time the both of them put the country first. That is the only stable government, I believe can be formed. It is time for us now to go and be an opposition party and that's what I believe should happen."

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