Spending limits urged in Fine Gael leadership race

Supporters of Leo Varadkar want ‘level playing field’ in battle with Simon Coveney

Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar: The Fine Gael party’s executive council will be responsible for how the contest to succeed Enda Kenny is run. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar: The Fine Gael party’s executive council will be responsible for how the contest to succeed Enda Kenny is run. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

Supporters of Minster for Social Protection Leo Varadkar are pushing for spending limits to be imposed on candidates in the Fine Gael leadership race.

Sources within Mr Varadkar’s camp said it wished to ensure there was a “level playing field” and to avoid “the perception that anyone got a monetary advantage”.

A supporter of his main rival, Simon Coveney, said the Minster for Housing’s campaign would follow whatever rules are set down by Fine Gael.

The party’s executive council will be responsible for how the contest to succeed Enda Kenny is run and it met this week to sketch out the process.

It is understood, however, the possibility of spending limits was not discussed at this particular meeting.

“Whatever rules the executive council sets, we will follow,” a supporter of Mr Coveney said. “I can’t see it being a massive spend on the campaign. There are 25,000 members.”

A supporter of Mr Varadkar said: “There has been no decision yet on spending limits but we’re pushing for that. Notably, the conservatives had it in the UK.

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