Taoiseach 'doesn't have much respect' for commentary about him in 'Tory press'

Leo Varadkar says a recent Sun editorial is the second or third time the British press have 'had a go' at him

Taoiseach 'doesn't have much respect' for commentary about him in 'Tory press'

Photo: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

The Taoiseach says he doesn't have much respect for commentary about him in the British press.

He was responding after The Sun newspaper labelled him a 'Brexit Buffoon' following his comments at an EU meeting.

Speaking last week, the Taoiseach said: “It’s 18 months since the referendum... it’s 10 years since people who wanted a referendum started agitating for one.

“Sometimes it doesn’t seem like they have thought all this through."

Varadkar has also been using stronger language to push for an agreement on the Northern Irish border issue, stating: "We've been talking 18 months, we've been given assurances now for 18 months since the referendum that there'll be no hard border in Ireland, that there won't be any physical infrastructure, that we won't go back to the borders of the past.

"We want that written down in practical terms in the conclusions of phase one."

In an editorial, meanwhile, The Sun claimed: "Ireland's naive young prime minister should shut his gob on Brexit and grow up".

Responding to the paper's article, Varadkar said he did read the editorial in question.

He explained: "I think it's the second or third time that the Tory press have had a go at me - which is interesting because, here in Ireland, the left & others accuse me of being a Tory.

"I guess I treat all that commentary with the respect it deserves - which isn't very much."

 

The Taoiseach's stance has also been defended, however, with former Downing Street press Ssecretary Alastair Campbell saying Leo Varadkar is right to look for clarity.

Mr Campbell told The Pat Kenny Show: "When the Taoiseach said might it be possible that the British government have not thought this true, I simply made the point that they haven't thought about this issue at all.

"From his own national interest, given that this effects Ireland so closely... he's absolutely entitled to play hardball."