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09.14 15 Feb 2020


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The race to become the next leader of the Labour Party officially got under way today.

It comes after Brendan Howlin confirmed earlier this week that he would be stepping down from the role.

The party lost a seat in last weekend's general election, meaning they will return to the Dáil with only six seats.

The executive board met at 11am today to set out the rules of the process and appoint a returning officer.

Possible candidates are likely to include Alan Kelly, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin and Ged Nash.

Cork East TD Sean Sherlock has said he will not contest the race.

The process is expected to last around six weeks.

The new leader will be decided by a majority vote of the party membership.

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

Mr Howlin, who was returned as a TD last weekend, said on Twitter yesterday that he appreciated the support of the people of Wexford re-elected him.

He said: "I will proudly serve as their TD, but it's time to pass the Labour leadership to a new generation.

"I'll ask our Executive Board to arrange a process. A bright future lies ahead, with many new candidates in the party."

Main image: Brendan Howlin with party colleagues during a press conference where he announced he would be stepping down as party leader. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire/PA Images

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