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Joan Burton: ‘Eamon Gilmore has always been supportive of me and I am for him’

Recently there has been speculation that the relationship between the leader and deputy leader of the Labour Party is turning sour, but she says this is not the case.

Minister Joan Burton
Minister Joan Burton
Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

MINISTER FOR SOCIAL PROTECTION Joan Burton has dismissed speculation that there is a rift between her and Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore.

Speaking on RTE’s the Marian Finucane Show this morning, she said that her relationship with Gilmore is a “professional relationship”.

She said that in “a political party like the Labour Party there is a lot discussions around policies.

‘Discussions’

“I like to discuss politics, sometimes that annoys some. But decisions affect people, so you have to have discussions to work out what’s the best thing to do.”

When asked did she believe that that her discussions irritate Eamon Gilmore, she answered:

No, I think that is just a feature of politics. He has been extremely supportive of me as deputy leader.

I would say, and Eamon has acknowledged this, that the Labour party has done particularly well, since he became leader and I became deputy leader and we have worked very well together on very important issues like that of the bank guarantee – he supported me 100 per cent.

‘Friendly relationship’

She added that she has “absolutely” been there for him too.

Does that mean that we spend all our time in each others company. No. It is a political , professional relationship that is friendly but that has a lot of discussion in it, but I think that is the way it always is politics and a lot of other fields.

She said, “Eamon Gilmore has always been supportive of me and I am for him” but when asked about how she felt about not being appointed Minister for Finance she said she respected Gilmore’s decision.

He made his decision, it was his call. I spoke about it at the time I said I was disappointed and surprised, but I got on with it. I have enjoyed being involved in social welfare where it is a hard time for many in the country and reforming it is a big job. I wouldn’t like people to think differently.

“There is nothing decided on welfare cap” – Joan Burton>

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