Taoiseach intends to lead Fine Gael into General Election

Enda Kenny makes comment amid speculation linking him to European roles

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said today that he intends to lead Fine Gael into the General Election in 2016.Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said today that he intends to lead Fine Gael into the General Election in 2016.Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Mon, Nov 18, 2013, 16:28

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said today that he intends to lead Fine Gael into the General Election in 2016.

Mr Kenny made the comment amid speculation that has linked him with two powerful European roles which come up next year.

The role of European Council president becomes available from December 2014 and the role of European Commission president requires a new incumbent is required for next June.

Speaking on local Co Mayo station Mid-west Radio today Mr Kenny said: “The next General Election will be in April 2016 and the people can judge us for what we’ve done at that stage. I intend to lead the party I have the honour to lead into that election and say ‘This is what you gave me five years ago now judge us on what we’ve done’ “

Mr Kenny said his mandate was to “relentlessly pursue jobs,growth and opportunity and sort out our public finances” so that the next generation “ will never again have to deal with what happened in the last number of years”.

Earlier this month Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar said he would be surprised if the Taoiseach left the Government to take one of the jobs. “My impression would be that he wants to stay in Ireland and finish the job he has set out to do,” he said.

Mr Varadkar emphasised that Mr Kenny’s name was being “seriously talked about” in Europe and that the interest in his candidacy was more than just speculation in the Irish media.