Labour’s Alex White hoping to resurrect political career

Former minister will seek to fill vacancy on Dún-Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council

Former minister for communications Alex White wants to come back to politics as a Labour councillor: “There’s a great deal you can do on a local authority.”  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Former minister for communications Alex White wants to come back to politics as a Labour councillor: “There’s a great deal you can do on a local authority.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

 

Former minister for communications Alex White is hoping to return to politics as a Labour councillor on Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.

The imminent resignation of Cllr Carron McKinney will create a vacancy on the council which the Labour Party plans to fill through a co-option procedure.

Mr White, who lost his Dublin Rathdown Dáil seat in the last general election, confirmed he would put his name forward for the party’s internal candidate selection process.

“There’s a great deal you can do on a local authority. I know that from having been on one before, albeit a different one. I’m looking forward to being able to do that again if I’m selected,” he said.

Ms McKinney, a tax director, said she would step down from the council on Monday to focus on increased work commitments in the UK.

‘Work-life balance’

“I’m working in the UK four days a week. I’ve really enjoyed the council work but my work-life balance is not sustainable,” she said.

She said three of her four daughters were living at home. Her husband had an acquired brain injury after being hit by a Luas in September 2011, she said.

Ms McKinney represents the Stillorgan ward, which straddles two Dáil constituencies: Dublin Rathdown and Dún Laoghaire. Labour has already selected Cllr Deirdre Kingston as a Dáil candidate for Dún Laoghaire.

Originally from Derry, Ms McKinney was co-opted onto the council when Richard Humphreys, now a High Court judge, retired from the position in May 2015.

Mr White was one of Labour’s highest-profile political casualties in the 2016 general election

A Labour spokesman said: “Cllr Carron McKinney is stepping down as a councillor due to work commitments in the UK. The Labour Party will fill the vacancy by co-option.”

Canvass opinions

He said a candidate selection process would be opened by the party’s executive board to canvass opinions of members and make recommendations.

“It will be up to any eligible member of the party to decide if they wish to put their name forward.

“If contested, a selection convention will be held by Labour Party members in branches within the Stillorgan electoral area of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.”

The Stillorgan electoral area covers Cabinteely, Foxrock, Cornelscourt and Mount Merrion.

Mr White was one of Labour’s highest-profile political casualties in the 2016 general election. He previously served as a senator and South Dublin county councillor.