Alex White fends off questions about Labour Party leadership

‘There isn’t a single TD who doesn’t want to be leader of his or her party,’ says Alex White

Minister for Communications Alex White: described Tánaiste Joan Burton in Latin as primus inter pares or first among equals when asked about the future of the party post-election if the leader stood down. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister for Communications Alex White: described Tánaiste Joan Burton in Latin as primus inter pares or first among equals when asked about the future of the party post-election if the leader stood down. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

 

Minister for Communications Alex White has deflected questions about the Labour Party leadership as controversy over gaffe-prone Minister for Environment Alan Kelly continued.

Mr White described Tánaiste Joan Burton in Latin as primus inter pares or first among equals when asked about the future of the party post-election if the leader stood down. He said “there isn’t a single TD who doesn’t want to be leader of his or her party” but also said it was not safe to make any assumptions. Mr White was speaking as he, Minister of State Kevin Humphreys and Dún Laoghaire candidate Cllr Carrie Smyth, launched the party’s plan to create 13,000 green jobs over five years.

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The issue has been raised repeatedly at Labour press conferences since the start of the election campaign. Mr White said “the issue has been addressed” and “good discussion of procedures and processes” was the way. He added there is “this natural tension there between politicians and the media and we have ways of resolving that”.

He had a high regard for what journalists did “and I think their independence is very important. That doesn’t mean we can’t criticise you. But it is an important job.”

Mr Kelly has made no secret of his leadership ambitions and described himself as his own boss last week.