Belfast Telegraph

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore confirms he is to resign as Labour Party leader

By Niall O'Connor

Eamon Gilmore has confirmed that he is to step down as leader of the Labour party once his successor has been elected.

The Labour leader made the announcement this afternoon flanked by members of the parliamentary party.

“At 10.30am this morning I informed the General Secretary of the Labour Party I intended to stand down as leader of the Labour party”, he said.

“I’ve had the honour and privilege to lead the Labour party for seven years.

“I asked party to take on responsibility of government. I believed as citizens and a party we had a responsibility to put the country first.

“I still believe that was the right the decision, and I’m proud of the progress we have made.”

He said he made the decision last night to step down in consultation with his family.

He also added he intended to contest the next General Election.

“It was a course which carried a high political risk”, he said, adding Labour had paid the price in the local and European elections.

“The party, and the government, must move on.

“We must, and we will, continue to put the country and the needs of the people first.

“There is more to do, and I intend to be part of it.”

However he added that the work to rebuild the party is best left to new leadership.

He refused to endorse any candidate to replace him.

It comes after seven labour TDs and a senator earlier tabled a vote of no confidence in Eamon Gilmore.

"I've heard that the Tanaiste is making a statement at four o'clock," Taoiseach Enda Kenny said this afternoon.

"I do not know what is in the statement. I've just tried to ring him, I can't get through."

Mr Gilmore's position had been looking increasingly untenable as the party reels from its electoral bloodbath.

The motion was tabled by TDs Ciara Conway, Dominic Hannigan, Michael McNamara, Ged Nash, Derek Nolan, Aodhan O Riordan and Arthur Spring, as well as senator John Gilroy.

The motion reads: "The Parliamentary Labour Party does not retain confidence in the party leader."

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