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Brendan Howlin dismisses leadership concerns and says he wants to 'work together' with the Greens

The Labour leader said he is ‘not at all disappointed’ with his party’s result.

Image: Leah Farrell

LABOUR LEADER BRENDAN Howlin has dismissed any questions over his leadership, stating that he is “not at all disappointed” with his party’s results.

The party leader told reporters that locally, his party will get at least 57 seats, with 20 new councillors in key areas. 

“That’s a 25% increase in our seats,” he said, adding that results for the European elections were “not so good”.

“Everyone has been impacted by the Green surge including us. But we had 37 incumbents looking to be re-elected,” said Howlin.

Comments in the last year from Tipperary TD Alan Kelly put the spotlight on Howlin’s leadership, with Kelly effectively calling on Howlin to resign as leader.

Further pressure mounted on Howlin when a large number of councillors signed their name to a letter calling for him to stand down. 

The party’s low polling numbers has also been a concern to Labour ever since its mauling at the polls in the 2016 general election.

However, the Labour leader said the message was clear from the electorate this weekend, with Howlin throwing the doors open to two parties.

The Labour Party and the Green Party should to “work together” to make an impact, said the Wexford TD.

Howlin said he met with the Green Party leader Eamon Ryan in advance of polling day, adding:

I am going to meet him next week to look at the number of seats we have and see what we can do together.

It’s not just the Green Party that Howlin wants to work with. He also has the Social Democrats in his sights. 

When asked would there be a time where there would be alliance between the two parties, Howlin said he was “very open” to the idea. 

“There is very little policy differences between us,” he said, adding that he “would like to work in close alliance with the Soc Dems”. “I have said that repeatedly,” said the Labour leader.

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