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Alan Kelly Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland
The big question

Alex White says he smoked cannabis in college, but what about this Labour minister?

Labour deputy leadership hopeful Alan Kelly faced questions on cannabis smoking today after Alex White told that he inhaled in college.

JUNIOR TRANSPORT Minister Alan Kelly has said that not only has he never smoked cannabis, he’s never smoked anything.

The Labour deputy leadership candidate was responding to questions about the issue of cannabis legalisation in the wake of leadership contender Alex White’s disclosure to this week that he smoked cannabis when he was in college.

“Not alone have I not smoked cannabis, I’ve never actually smoked. I despise smoking, it’s my pet hate,” Kelly told reporters in Dublin today.

“And to be honest with you, I really, really despise smoking, to a degree that anyone who knows me personally knows that it’s the one thing I completely and utterly hate. So no, I have never smoked anything in my life.”

Alex White talks about cannabis to earlier this week: 

Video / YouTube

Kelly said he has “no problem” with White being honest about his past experiences saying it’s a matter for individuals.

“That’s their own business. But I have no real opinion on whether people should or shouldn’t announce that they do these things,” he added.

Kelly, who is the bookies’ favourite for the deputy leadership role, also said he did not concur with White’s contention that based on what is currently known a “reasonable person” could conclude that the Garda Commissioner was sacked by Taoiseach Enda Kenny in March.

Kelly said: “I think there is a defined process in relation to how a Garda Commissioner leaves their role.

“We all know what that is, and while I’m not at Cabinet so I can’t disclose what went on, and nor would I anyway, but I am not privy to that. I have to take the bona fides of the Taoiseach and indeed others at face value.”

- with reporting from Aoife Barry 

VIDEO: Alex White on how austerity affects him and whether Joan Burton hurt his feelings

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