South Dublin Mayor resigns from Labour Party

Dermot Looney says party has ‘abandoned basic social concerns’ in Government

Dermot Looney said i he could no longer remain associated with the party when he ‘fundamentally disagreed’ with many of its policies in Government. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Dermot Looney said i he could no longer remain associated with the party when he ‘fundamentally disagreed’ with many of its policies in Government. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Tue, Jan 7, 2014, 21:52

The Mayor of South Dublin has announced his resignation from Labour, saying the party had “abandoned even the most basic of social democratic concerns” while in Government.

Dermot Looney, who was elected as mayor last June, said in a statement tonight that he could no longer remain associated with the party when he “fundamentally disagreed” with many of the policies it has recently pursued.

“Over the last ten years I have done my best to advocate for policies and ideas rooted in the values of the left which brought me into politics,” he said.

“Over the last three, I have been dismayed at the failure of Labour in Government to advance these values and ideas, and am equally concerned at the long-term outlook for these politics in the party.”

Mr Looney said there was “no one individual policy” prompting his resignation, but “dozens over the lifetime of the Government” with which he disagreed.

“Labour has kowtowed to Fine Gael’s economic agenda, presided over cuts across the public sector which worst affect those who are vulnerable, and implemented a series of demonstrably regressive budgets,” he said.

Mr Looney, who is 31, is the youngest ever county mayor and was one of Labour’s youngest councillors when first elected in 2009. He has been a member of the Labour Party for 10 years.

He confirmed this evening that he would run as an independent candidate in the Templeogue-Terenure area in the local elections in May.

“I will not be joining any other parties or groupings but hope in the future to play a constructive role in working with others on the left at local and national level,” he said.

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