Alex White ‘very confident’ on winning Labour leadership

‘If support I’m being offered and assured of is anything to go by... I think I’ll do extremely well’

Minister of State for Primary Care Alex White has said he has a “very good chance” of winning the contest for Labour leader. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Minister of State for Primary Care Alex White has said he has a “very good chance” of winning the contest for Labour leader. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

 

Minister of State for Primary Care Alex White has said he has a “very good chance” of winning the contest for Labour leader.

Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton is perceived as the frontrunner, but Mr White was bullish about his chances and said he had been assured of lots of support in recent days.

“I’m not running against Joan Burton, I’m running for leadership of the party, and so is she. I’m very confident,” he said.

“If the support I’m being offered and assured of is anything to go by...I think I’ll do extremely well. I have a very good chance of winning the contest when the day comes.”

Mr White, who was opening a primary care centre in Summerhill, Co Meath, acknowledged Ms Burton had more experience of being in government.

However, he said he could bring skills from outside politics which would also be advantageous.

He also said further health cuts could not be endured.

“We really have reached the end of the line in terms of cuts in our health service,” he said.

All budgetary decisions were made at Cabinet, he noted, and some of the decisions had not been sufficiently assessed. “We all have to take our share of the blame for what has happened.”

He expressed full confidence in Minister for Health James Reilly.