Labour tables no confidence vote

Fri, Jan 14, 2011, 00:00

The Labour Party  is to table a motion of no confidence in the Government.

Party leader Eamon Gilmore said the decision had been taken as the Coalition was divided, dysfunctional and attempting to drag its time in power out for as long as possible.

Mr Gilmore said he believed the motion could be successful and that he expected it would be debated when the Dáil reconvenes on Tuesday.

However, Government Chief Whip John Curran said tonight he would not allow time to be given to debate the motion.

Mr Curran it would be open to the Labour Party to move the motion at their next Private Member’s time which is the week after next.

"I am quite confident that the Government will win that vote,” he said.

Mr Gilmore today denied Labour was being opportunistic in tabling the motion while Taoiseach Brian Cowen’s leadership of Fianna Fáil was under scrutiny.

He said he had repeatedly requested a timetable from the Government making clear when the Finance Bill would be passed so a general election could take place but that this had been pushed further and further back.

“It was supposed to be in January, then at the end of March now it seems it’ll be April and if some other excuse is found it’ll drag on for longer than that,” he told reporters outside Leinster House this afternoon.

“The country needs a government that is working and focused on getting the country back working and people back to work.”

When asked why he had tabled a motion of no confidence in the Government rather than the Taoiseach, Mr Gilmore said it was not about individuals.

He said he had listened all week to Fianna Fáil members discussing the party’s leadership and saying they and the Taoiseach would do what was in the best interests of the party but that this was insignificant.

“The best interests of the party are not what this is about,” he said. “What this is about is ensuring this country has a government that’s coming to terms with the country’s problems and getting on top of them.”

Mr Gilmore said debating such a motion in the Dáil would not be a waste of time as it had a good chance of being successful.

He said the Green Party had requested an election and that record numbers of TDs and ministers were not standing for re-election as they did not have confidence in the Government’s future.

“So it seems to me that there is a clear majority in Dail Eireann who do not have confidence in this government,” he said. “Labour is going to put that to the test and each individual deputy will have to make up their own mind. We are putting this motion [forward] because we believe it has the prospect of success.”

Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin welcomed the move, which he described as belated.

"The immediate priority for all should be the earliest possible removal of this Government and the calling of a general election," he said.