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Taoiseach: I fully expect to lead Fine Gael into the next election

Enda Kenny is “flattered” by being linked to two top European jobs that become available next year, but has insisted he intends to lead his party into the next general election.

Enda Kenny's future is in Ireland, it would appear
Enda Kenny's future is in Ireland, it would appear
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY has said he intends to lead Fine Gael into the next general election despite being “flattered” at specualtion linking him to two top jobs in Europe in recent months.

Kenny has been linked with becoming either the next president of the European Commission or the president of the European Council next year with strong backing for his potential candidacy in Brussels and Strasbourg.

But he has insisted that he will lead his party into the next general election in 2016, saying it was his “honour and my privilege” to be given “the largest majority in the history of the State to sort out our public finances and get our people back to work”.

He continued: “That’s my ambition to fulfil that mandate and I fully expect, if the Lord spares me, to lead Fine Gael into the next election and lead them in very strongly.”

Kenny was speaking ahead of a summit of the European People’s Party in Brussels today before a full European Council meeting later today in the Belgian capital.

The EPP, Europe’s largest political grouping, is due to pick its candidate for the Commission at a summit in Dublin next March with Kenny having been heavily linked to the candidacy for the role being vacated by Jose Manuel Barosso.

Kenny said he was “flattered” to be linked to the posts in Europe but said there is “no point in me being in Europe and leading Fine Gael into the next election”.

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“I’d be flattered to be talked of in those terms, but my job is here,” he added.

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Hugh O'Connell

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