Europe

Leo Varadkar: No Irish election before Christmas

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar Image copyright Virginia Mayo/Reuters
Image caption Leo Varadkar ruled out the possibility of an election during a cabinet meeting

There will be no election in the Republic of Ireland before Christmas.

Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Leo Varadkar ruled out the possibility during a cabinet meeting, the Irish state broadcaster RTÉ reports.

Some members of his party had suggested calling an election during the temporary pause in Brexit negations caused by the UK election.

Mr Varadkar told a meeting of his ministers that a pre-Christmas poll is not in the interests of the country.

Earlier this year, Leo Varadkar told a parliamentary meeting of the ruling Fine Gael that he favours an election in May 2020.

Irish Health Minister Simon Harris said he did not think there was any public appetite for an election before the end of the year.

He said Brexit was not fully resolved and added: "People need to calm down."

There would be "huge risks for Ireland if we go down the road of a pre-Christmas election", according to Michael McGrath of Ireland's main opposition party Fianna Fáil.

He said it was not a good time to have an election when the nights were cold and dark.

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