Two Mayo senators support Leo Varadkar in FG leadership battle

Minister for Social Protection Mr Varadkar was speaking at a press event at Dublin alongside the Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe, who publicly endorsing him earlier today.

Kenny's successor as party leader is set to be elected on June 2 and Noonan may still oversee the flotation of Allied Irish Banks, which he said could happen in the coming weeks, another landmark in the banking sector recovery.

"I would like to pay tribute to the Taoiseach for his dedication and service to his country and party over many, many years".

"I made this decision some time ago and I'm confident that Leo Varadkar is the right person who can lead Fine Gael and Ireland into the next generation of politics".

She is among four Ministers and four TDs who added their support to Mr Varadkar's campaign to succeed Enda Kenny during the day.

"I want to lead a party and a country that can heal numerous divisions that have opened up over the last decade or so".

The Fine Gael leadership contest will begin on Thursday, with nominations closing on Saturday.

The electoral college of the Fine Gael parliamentary party, county councillors, and party members will prepare to choose a new leader to be announced on 2 June.




"I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with Simon Coveney, we're very lucky in Fine Gael to have two excellent candidates, it's a decision I've thought about and I will be supporting Leo".

He added "Simon Coveney has also seen his priced halved into 3/1 from 6/1 to be Taoiseach after the Next General Election and judging by the momentum behind the Cork native over the past 24 hours, he certainly can not be ruled out".

Fine Gael party chairman Martin Heydon described Kenny as a "compassionate, pragmatic and inclusive" leader.

"He introduced the social welfare increases in the last budget and more importantly as an urban TD he introduced the social scheme for farmers and fishermen".

Michael Noonan has announced his intention to step down as Finance Minister and that he will not be seeking re-election at the next General Election.

The current housing minister has also been in charge of several portfolios including agriculture and defence.

Education minister Richard Bruton is also reported to be assessing the possibility of entering the race.

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