Varadkar will call election before Harris motion can be debated - Lowry
Independent TD believes Dáil will not debate no confidence motion on health minister
Independent TD Michael Lowry said he believes an election will be called before any debate can take place. Photograph: Collins Courts
Independent TD Michael Lowry has said he does not believe a mooted motion of no confidence in Minister for Health Simon Harris will go ahead, as he expects the Taoiseach to call an election before any debate in the Dáil could take place.
In a statement issued to the media on Saturday evening, Mr Lowry said his assessment of the current political circumstances leads him to the “firm conclusion that the current Dáil will not be given an opportunity to debate a confidence motion in Health Minister Simon Harris”.
“Dáil procedures dictate that this confidence motion will not be heard until February 5th,” he added.
“I expect the Taoiseach will exercise his prerogative to call an election which will be well underway by February 5th, therefore speculation on my voting intentions is immaterial and irrelevant.”
A group of rural independent TDs had said they intended to put down a motion of no confidence in Minister for Health Simon Harris on February 5th.
Independent TDs Mattie McGrath, Michael Collins, Peter Fitzpatrick and Michael Harty amongst others were expected to support the motion, meaning the Government would be reliant on the support of Noel Grealish, Denis Naughten and Mr Lowry for survival.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said on Friday that he believes he has enough support to win a vote of no confidence in Mr Harris.
“I think we will have the numbers for that, actually. I’ve lost count of the number of confidence motions that have been put down over the last couple of years. They’re all defeated, and they’re largely done so that individual members of the Opposition or particular Opposition parties can get some air-time, and that’s the game and they’re playing it, fair enough, but let’s not take it too serious.”
When asked if he was going to contact the TDs for their support, Mr Varadkar said he would “think about that over the weekend”.
Earlier on Friday the Taoiseach indicated that he did not want to rush into an election decision.
“When the time is right for an election, it should be at the right time for the country, not necessarily the right time for any political party or any particular politician.
“When you’re in politics you always have to be prepared for an election. At the same time you can always be better prepared for election, but that’s not what matters.
“And I think sometimes when people rush into decisions they may get the accolade of being decisive, but they actually make the wrong decisions. And before I make a decision I always consider all the options and all the facts.”