Mountcharles not to seek FG nomination


Lord Henry Mountcharles has withdrawn from the contest for a nomination to run for Fine Gael in the forthcoming European elections in advance of the party convention for the East constituency later this month.

Lord Henry's withdrawal follows the emergence of television presenter and agricultural journalist Ms Maireád McGuinness as a candidate. Lord Henry said yesterday that he was "most surprised at the sudden appearance" of Ms McGuinness as a candidate, as he had been approached a month ago by senior party figures and asked if he would allow his name to go forward.

He said a number of his supporters were angry at the way he had been treated and were urging him to run as an independent. While he said he would consider their urgings, it is seen as unlikely that he would run.

Lord Henry said that he had "reluctantly" agreed to allow his name to go forward at the Fine Gael convention, and had since been nominated by constituency executives in Meath, Carlow/Kilkenny, Wicklow, Kildare and Laois/Offaly.

He said he believed that with Ms Avril Doyle MEP on the Fine Gael ticket in the south of the constituency who would appeal to agricultural voters, it was important to have someone in the north of the constituency who could appeal to urban voters, as Leinster had become more urbanised.

However, a party spokesman said last night that Ms McGuinness's name had emerged through the party organisation in Meath, in which she had a family connection.