As Fine Gael comes to terms with the sudden resignation of its leader and Taoiseach yesterday, all the attention has turned today to who will now lead the party and replace Leo Varadkar as Taoiseach

Simon Harris now has the backing of over 20 politicians to be the next person at the helm. He is expected to formally throw his hat in the ring this afternoon but even before he does that - he already has the backing of 23 Tds, Senators and MEPs.

He only needs six for the formal nomination.

Now the big question is whether Simon Harris has any competition

Not from Helen McEntee anyway as she has now ruled herself out of the running while Simon Coveney excluded himself last night.

Paschael Donohoe is refusing to say if he will run or not saying it's a little too early for all of that

One of the country’s longest serving Fine Gael TDs is Mayo’s Michael Ring.

Michael has served the party as a local councillor, TD and Minister over the years.

Midwest News Editor Teresa O’Malley asked deputy Ring today is he considering putting his hat in the ring for party leader…


 Midwest News asked Mayo Fine Gael deputy Alan Dillon if he had decided who he will back for party leader and deputy Dillon provided this statement in response...

As the elected Chairperson of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party, my responsibility within the party is to ensure that this leadership contest is conducted in a fair, unified, and respectful manner.

 Yesterday, I had a meeting with the General Secretary and the Chair of the Executive Council to ensure that the process of choosing our next leader is well-organised and supervised by the Fine Gael Executive Council.

 The nomination process has begun, and it would not be appropriate for me to publicly declare my personal choice for the next leader at this point. I will maintain my impartiality until a leader is chosen.


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