Joan Burton "absolutely" wants to continue as leader of Labour

TD Ged Nash says party failure is "not in the interest of working people"

Joan Burton "absolutely" wants to continue as leader of Labour

Joan Burton celebrates election Image: Rolling News

Joan Burton says it is “absolutely” her intention to remain as leader of the Labour party.

The party has endure d a disastrous general election so far, and now look as though they maybe end up failing to hold seven seats – thereby losing speaking rights in the Dáil.

Speaking following her re-election to Dublin West, Ms Burton said she “absolutely” wants to remain as leader of the party.

“I have been elected by the members of the Labour party, when the results of the election have been established over the next day or two we will have an opportunity for the parliamentary party to meet,” she said.

Ministers Alex White and Ann Phelan are just two of the high-profile Labour figures who have lost out already today, with deputy leader Alan Kelly in a tight race in Tipperary.

“Obviously today is very difficult and disappointing day for the Labour Party, we’ve lost many fine public representatives and TDs,” Ms Burton said.

“We’ll rebuild and regroup and we’ll be back,” she added, echoing the words of her colleague Mr White, who said Labour will survive even if it eventually suffers a massive loss of seats.

“Even if it’s seats in single figures, I think we’ll survive. They’ll be battered and bruised today but I think we’ll survive and we’ll thrive in the future.”

The major question now arising as results come in is what form the next government takes. Ms Burton said she believes there is an onus on elected representatives to now form a government to ensure stability.

“I think there’s a number of combinations that are potentially possible, but certainly the country needs a government.

“We need to continue the programme otherwise it would be terrible to risk,” she said.

Labour TD in Louth, Ged Nash earlier told Newstalk that the party “is very proud of the contribution to government in helping rebuild the ruin and wreck of the economy.”

Mr Nash also said that “the fact that the Labour party is clearly not going to be part of the next government is not in the interest of working people, is not going to be in the interest of fairness in our society.”