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Labour’s Alan Kelly ‘doesn’t believe’ party will enter coalition

Alan Kelly said he believes the Labour party will play a ‘huge part’ in shaping Ireland’s recovery.

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Labour leader Alan Kelly (Niall Carson/PA)

Labour leader Alan Kelly (Niall Carson/PA)

Labour leader Alan Kelly (Niall Carson/PA)

Labour leader Alan Kelly says he does not expect his party to enter a new government coalition.

The newly-elected leader said the party is not in a position to enter government with Fianna Fail and Fine Gael.

He said that while Labour will “talk to anybody who wants to talk to us”, the focus is on the parties that secured a large number of seats.

Speaking to RTE’s Morning Ireland programme, Mr Kelly said: “Simply put, there are four large parties, any three of which could form a government. It is up to them to do so.

“The Green Party got a large mandate of 12 seats, and obviously climate change is the big agenda item once we get over Covid (-19).

“It’s quite disappointing that it seems that they are not willing to put their shoulders to the wheel and stay on the pitch and get involved in this.”

Government formation talks between Fianna Fail and Fine Gael are still ongoing, two months after the general election.

I think the way in which Ireland is going to have to come out of this is going to have to embrace a lot of things that the Labour Party stood for over the last number of years,Labour leader Alan Kelly

The parties are producing a joint framework document to present to smaller parties and independents, to ask them to join them in government.

Mr Kelly said, however, that he believes the Labour party will play a “huge part” in shaping Ireland’s recovery.

“I think the world has changed. I think politics has changed,” he added.

“It’s amazing that Keynesian economics is back in fashion.

“I think the way in which Ireland is going to have to come out of this is going to have to embrace a lot of things that the Labour Party stood for over the last number of years, in relation to housing and childcare, in relation to a one-tier health system, in relation to a rent freeze, which I’ve advocated for many years.”

Mr Kelly also said that even if Labour added its six seats, there still would not be enough to form a majority government.

He added: “It’s my job to ensure we will not be swamped, we will be different and I aspire to doing so, to making us very, very relevant, punching way above our weight into the future, but I also want to say we need a strong opposition into the future.”

He said there is a need for a strong opposition as the Government is going to have to make difficult decisions.

PA