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Howlin 'hasn't made up his mind' about running for the Labour leadership

The Wexford TD denied that he looked for a precondition of an uncontested leadership, saying “certainly not” and that he’s “absolutely” up for a contest.

Image: Sam Boal via RollingNews.ie

BRENDAN HOWLIN HAS confirmed he is contemplating contesting the Labour leadership battle.

The Wexford TD said he will think about running for the top spot over the weekend.

It comes as the former Tánaiste Joan Burton announced yesterday that she would step down as head of the party.

Speaking on RTÉs Morning Ireland the former minister for public expenditure said he has always had the ambition to be the leader of his party, adding ”everybody’s interested who’s involved in politics”.

I’m going to contemplate whether it’s the right thing for me and the party over the next few days, I haven’t made up my mind on it yet.

Howlin has put forward his name to be leader of the party twice in the past. Speaking this morning, he said, “I’ve said many times I want to be the leader of the Labour Party … that’s my very straight and clear answer.”

“I believe that working together in a new type of leadership, we will make a huge difference and restore the fortunes of Labour quicker than you imagine.

“It has to be a collective leadership where all of us work together.”

‘Plenty of mistakes’

Discussing Labour’s fall in the last election Howlin said, “Fianna Fail mugged Ireland and we came in with the ambulance.”

He said he didn’t feel the party made mistakes in its campaign but did admit to mistakes while in coalition, “Not in the campaign – but in the past five years did we made mistakes? Plenty of them.”

Howlin said the party now needs to “hit the ground running, be united in purpose, we need to know what we’re about”.

When asked about the interest of many of his Labour colleagues to contend the leadership, Howlin said, “That’s a good thing isn’t it … that we all want to be involved in bringing the party forward, restoring the party to greatness again.”

Addressing Alan Kelly’s scheduled appearance on the Late Late Show on Friday night, he said, “I wish him well, I look forward to it.”

He added that he would support his colleague 100% if he won the leadership.

Speaking on Newstalk a short time later, Howlin further discussed Alan Kelly saying:

He’s the deputy leader, he’s a high profile individual. He will be pivotal in the future of Labour.

When asked if some Labour TDs were putting their names forward for the leadership “who don’t necessarily want it themselves but don’t want Alan Kelly”, Howlin replied:

“It’s about what’s right for the party, what roles each of us are going to play in the future. How we shape the recovery of Labour, what sort of inclusive policy making we have … we are in different times.”

The Wexford TD denied that he looked for a precondition of an uncontested leadership, saying “certainly not” and that he is “absolutely” up for a contest.

Read: The next leader of Labour – ranked from most to least likely>

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