Higgins may leave group over criticism

Mon, Jan 21, 2013, 00:00

Socialist TD Joe Higgins may leave the United Left Alliance after strong criticism of the umbrella group was heard at his party meeting at the weekend.

Mr Higgins has “downgraded participation” in the ULA, according to Socialist MEP Paul Murphy: “We haven’t been happy for some time about the direction of the ULA.”

The ULA was launched in November 2010 when the Socialist Party, People Before Profit and the Tipperary-based Workers Unemployed Action Group came together in what Mr Higgins then described as a “left alternative to the establishment parties”.

Five TDs were elected under the banner in the last general election, including Socialist Party candidates Mr Higgins and Clare Daly.

Ms Daly left the Socialist Party last September primarily due to disputes over her close political relationship with Mick Wallace after it emerged the developer and Independent TD for Wexford had made false VAT returns.

Mr Murphy said a “good discussion” took place at the Socialist Party meeting in Dublin yesterday about participation in the ULA.

Mr Higgins could not be reached for comment last night.