Keaveney to chair Labour meeting
Labour chairman and rebel deputy Colm Keaveney has welcomed what he accepts as confirmation that the party would not try to remove him but stressed that grassroots members expected agreed policies to be implemented.
Today’s meeting of the party’s executive board will be chaired by Mr Keaveney and is expected to be attended by Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, who has described the deputy as “effectively an Opposition TD”.
Mr Keaveney has defied calls from the party leadership to relinquish his position as chairman since he voted against the Government over contentious budget measures and lost the party whip in December.
Mr Gilmore this week revoked the Galway East TD’s membership of three Oireachtas committees: Public Accounts, EU Affairs and Transport.
However, a party spokesman said there was “no prospect” of anybody ousting Mr Keaveney from his position as party chairman. He is now expected to remain in the post until the next party conference in the autumn.
Having a chairman who has lost the party whip is an uncomfortable situation for Labour, however.
Mr Keaveney said the controversy over his refusal to step down had been a distraction from the work the Labour Party had to do.
He said he looked forward to playing his part in working with party colleagues “in securing the implementation of Labour policy in line with the expectations of the party’s membership”.
Separately, following a request from Sinn Féin, the Government has confirmed that Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín will no longer chair the Oireachtas Oversight and Petitions Committee.