Burton elected Labour deputy leader in tight contest

Thu, Oct 4, 2007, 01:00

Labour's Finance spokesperson Joan Burton was today elected as the party's deputy leader beating fellow contender Jan O'Sullivan in a close contest.

Ms Burton, a TD for Dublin West, received 1480 votes to Ms O'Sullivan's 1276.

Up to 4,000 party members were entitled to vote by postal ballot in the election.

The counting of votes for the position of Labour Party deputy leader at the RHA Gallery in Dublin today.
The counting of votes for the position of Labour Party deputy leader at the RHA Gallery in Dublin today.

The position of deputy leader became vacant when Liz McManus stepped down following the May General Election.

Speaking after her victory, Ms Burton said: "I'm very, very pleased and I want to thank all the Labour Party members around the country who voted for me."

She added: "I would like to assist Eamon Gilmore in putting the party on a journey of renewal and policy reform.

"We must seek to make life better for families throughout the country, We need a good society as well as a strong economy."

She said one of her priorities as a finance spokesperson was reform of the tax system. "My political philosophy is that if we have moderate taxes, then everybody has to pay," she said today.

Ms Burton is serving her second term as Labour TD for Dublin West and is regarded as tireless worker at local level. She had a tight tussle with Joe Higgins for the third seat in the constituency, beating him by just 505 votes.

She had lost her seat to Mr Higgins of the Socialist Party in the 1997 Election.

Ms Burton was first elected to the Dail in 1992 and has served as a Minister of State on two occasions. Firstly in Social Welfare and later in Foreign Affairs.

Before her first election to Dail Eireann Ms Burton lectured in Accountancy at the DIT Aungier St. She is married to Pat Carroll, also a DIT Lecturer. They have one daughter Aoife who recently qualified as a barrister.

Additional reporting PA