Micheál Martin: Taoiseach should say if he wants an election and "stop this messing about"

Minister Regina Doherty has accused the Fianna Fáil leader of "obsessing about media spin while on media spinning"

Micheál Martin: Taoiseach should say if he wants an election and "stop this messing about"

Micheál Martin. Picture by: NurPhoto/SIPA USA/PA Images

Micheál Martin says the Taoiseach should call an election if he wants one, instead of 'trying to create spurious grounds' for it.

The Fianna Fáil leader has accused Leo Varadkar of megaphone diplomacy, and says he hasn't met the Taoiseach one-to-one in a year.

It's the latest salvo in a row over renewing the confidence and supply agreement propping the Government up, ahead of the last Budget covered by the arrangement.

Earlier this week, Deputy Martin warned Leo Varadkar that there is no point trying to renegotiate the agreement through the media.

In a tweet this morning, Fine Gael Minister Regina Doherty suggested claims of media spin show the sun has gone to Micheál Martin's head.

Yesterday, Leo Varadkar accused Fianna Fáil of sending 'mixed messages' over the confidence and supply deal.

However, Deputy Martin defended his party's position - insisting his party has been very clear about their position.

Speaking on the Pat Kenny Show, the Fianna Fáil leader argued: "If [the Taoiseach] wants an election, let him call an election. He should not try to create spurious grounds for it, or try and undermine a party that has been honest and has upheld its side of the agreement.

"I've made it clear since last February that we wanted to fulfill the confidence and supply agreement, and we wanted to contribute to a third budget.

"It seems to me [the Taoiseach] wants to create grounds to justify going to the country - if he doesn't, he should say that and stop this messing about".

He also criticised the Government for 'failing to lead adequately' when it comes to housing and health.

He argued: "We're up to 4,000 children in hotel, emergency accommodation or [family] hubs during this particular heatwave - which, I think by any demonstration, is a significant failure of Government."