Reform Alliance to hold conference at RDS

Billy Timmins says event will focus on policy and is not a step towards the launch of new party

 Reform Alliance member and Wicklow TD Billy Timmins who said the conference would   focus on  political, economic and health reform.

Reform Alliance member and Wicklow TD Billy Timmins who said the conference would focus on political, economic and health reform.

Sun, Jan 5, 2014, 12:08

The Reform Alliance, comprised of breakaway Fine Gael TDs and Senators, is to hold its first conference on January 25th, at the RDS in Dublin.

Wicklow TD Billy Timmins said the one-day event would focus on three policy areas of primary concern to members of the grouping; political, economic and health reform.

Mr Timmins said the conference would not focus on political ideology and was not intended as a step towards the establishment political party, he told RTÉ.

Last month it emerged that the Reform Alliance, which was formed by five TDs and two Senators expelled from the Fine Gael parliamentary party for voting against the party whip, has registered with the Standards in Public Office Commission as a “third party”.

The move allows the group to raise funds and accept donations, but “third party” registration does not mean a separate political party is being established.

Roscommon deputy Denis Naughten, a member of the group, said registration was primarily a device that will allow the group raise funds to carry out political research.

He said the group receives no exchequer funding under the leader’s allowance, unlike political parties and independent TDs and Senators. That is because all were elected as members of Fine Gael but the party still receives funding for each of the seven parliamentarians despite them being outside the parliamentary party.

Another leading member of the group Lucinda Creighton also emphasised that the Reform Alliance was in the process of registering as a “third party” and not as a political party.

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