Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

15.55 12 Feb 2020


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Brendan Howlin is to resign as the Labour party leader.

It comes after the party lost a seat in the general election, meaning they'll return to the Dáil with only six seats.

A leadership contest will now follow.

Mr Howlin today said Labour will not formally enter government and that has been backed by the parliamentary party.

However, it is open to supporting a programme for government on certain issues from the opposition benches.

Mr Howlin also said that despite speculation he is not interested in serving as Ceann Comhairle in the 33rd Dáil.

In a statement, Mr Howlin acknowledged it had 'undoubtedly been a difficult election' for his party - but said he believes the 'seeds have been sown' for future growth.

He said: “It has been an honour to lead the Labour Party but now is the right time to pass on the baton to a new generation.

“I will continue to represent the people of my beloved Wexford to the best of my ability and I thank them wholeheartedly for their continued support.

“I will, of course, offer my total support to my successor when they are elected.”

Mr Howlin was appointed as party leader in 2016, after the former Tánaiste Joan Burton stepped down from the role after the general election that year.

He was returned as a TD in Wexford in Saturday's election.

He has been a TD since 1987, and has also served in various ministerial positions - most recently as minister for public expenditure & reform between 2011 and 2016.


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