Labour to plan election for new party leader

Outgoing leader Alan Kelly has urged party to rally behind Ivana Bacik

The Labour Party will decide on Saturday the arrangements for the election of a new leader, with the parliamentary group meeting with its executive board following the resignation of Alan Kelly.

Mr Kelly, who has urged the party to rally behind Dublin Bay South TD Ivana Bacik as its new leader, stepped down unexpectedly on Wednesday following a heave by his parliamentary colleagues.

The parliamentary party will meet the executive board, which manages the backroom and procedural business of the party.

Speaking on Friday on his local radio station, Tipp FM, Mr Kelly denied that “backroom machinations” were behind his decision to resign the leadership. The reasons were concerns about where the party was going and what it was doing. It was pointed out to him that he did not have the collective support of the party which he accepted “straight away”.


Several party figures have spoken of their surprise at the manner of Mr Kelly’s resignation, which followed unhappiness among his peers over polling performance and his perceived association with the 2011-2016 coalition government.

There were also concerns over the culture in the party and the process around hiring backroom team members. When asked if he would contest the next general election, Mr Kelly (46) said he would not make any rash decisions. He would take “a week or two” to reflect and acknowledged that in the past he had said he did not intend to remain in politics until he was 65 as there were other things he wanted to do.

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones is a political reporter with The Irish Times