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Dublin: 4 °C Thursday 14 November, 2019
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Creighton: 'Inconvenient truths, independent thought' not welcome in government

The Reform Alliance TD made the comments this evening as her former party’s Ard Fheis got underway.

Deputy Lucinda Creighton
Deputy Lucinda Creighton
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

REFORM ALLIANCE TD Lucinda Creighton has this evening launched a blistering criticsm of the Oireacthas party whip system, saying that it leads to “a willingness to stay silent in the face of poor policy making and vested interests”.

“These triumph above all else,” she said.

Speaking this evening at the final of the Irish Times Debate, Creighton said that Ireland is a “paradox” of free government, as it is both the “single most open electoral system in the world, with the most disciplined party political system in the world”.

She added that the whip system controls Irish politics to an extent “that our former colonialists could only have dreamed of”, and that enormous change is needed.

The former Minister of State was expelled from the Fine Gael parliamentary party last year for voting against the government’s position on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill.

Her comments come as the first night of Fine Gael Ard Fheis draws to a close in the RDS in Dublin.

“Inconvenient questions and independence of thought are not welcome in our parliament”, she said.

The result is, that even though 1.2 million people voted for Fine Gael and Labour in the last election, those 1.2 million people have to rely on Fianna Fail, Sinn Fein and a disparate group of independents to hold the executive to account.

She stressed a “misguided loyalty” created by the whip system, and that it interferes with functioning of cabinet in how Ministers can make decisions affecting their colleagues’ Departments without consultation.

Read: €600k in leftover funding used to ‘manipulate taxpayer’, Creighton claims >

Reform Alliance: 9 things we learned from their ‘monster meeting’ >

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Nicky Ryan

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