Enda Kenny’s departure as Fine Gael leader was widely expected, but some TDs still appeared taken aback when he announced his decision at a brief meeting of the parliamentary party at Leinster House yesterday evening. His retirement as leader was effective from midnight last night.
Mr Kenny made a short speech yesterday evening in which he mentioned his “uninterrupted service” in the Dáil since 1975 and thanked his supporters in his Mayo constituency and his family.
The Taoiseach was described by as “emotional” by Minister Michael Ring when he spoke to Midwest News after the meeting.
FG’s national executive will meet this evening in Dublin to finalise the procedures and rules of the leadership contest.
The votes of the parliamentary party of TDs, Senators and MEPs accounts for 65 per cent of the vote in the Fileadership race, with councillors accounting for 10 per cent. The remaining 25 per cent is allocated to party members.
The campaign will last just over two weeks, and a new party leader will be announced on Friday, June 2nd.
Mr Kenny will remain as Taoiseach until his successor is elected by the Dáil.
Fine Gael is standing firm that there will not be a TV debate between or among the contenders.