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Alan Kelly is Labour's new deputy leader and expects to become a Cabinet minister

The junior transport minister has been elected as Joan Burton’s deputy.

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Updated 6.04pm 

JUNIOR TRANSPORT MINISTER Alan Kelly has won the race to be Labour’s deputy leader.

Kelly beat three other Labour TDs to take the position on the first count with just over 50 per cent of the vote.

He will now be second-in-command to the new party leader Joan Burton who was elected earlier and is likely to be appointed to Cabinet.

Kelly beat Cork TDs Seán Sherlock and Michael McCarthy into second and third place respectively with Waterford deputy Ciara Conway coming fourth.

Speaking to the media at the count centre in the Mansion House this evening, Kelly said he now anticipates he will be appointed to Cabinet next week.

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“Usually the deputy leader in the circumstances like this would be appointed to Cabinet. So yes, I would expect that would be the norm but at the end of the day that will be a matter for the new Tánaiste,” he said.

Kelly also said that every ministerial brief is “up for discussion” saying he anticipates that parties will swap briefs.

“I think every brief is up for discussion. I think the whole Cabinet bar a number of, probably a couple of roles, is up for discussion.”

Kelly said he wanted to see a focus on “people who get up in the morning and do an honest day’s work” and give a break to working families in the Budget.

He also said that he wants to see the “complete rejuvenation” of Labour organisationally.

Kelly said he will be meeting with Burton tonight and over the weekend to discuss their priorities in the months ahead.

The final results of the count saw Kelly take 51.5 per cent of the vote, Sherlock 17.1 per cent, McCarthy 16 per cent, and Conway 15.4 per cent.

In his victory speech Kelly pledged “1,000 per cent loyalty” to Burton, declared his love for Labour and said:

“The Labour Party IS in my DNA. It stands for everything I believe in… it’s everything for me.”

Failed deputy leadership candidate Michael McCarthy said the “trust and confidence” of the Labour membership had to be won back.

“I think together, as a team, we can win back the trust and confidence of our members, we can win back the trust and confidence of the public at large,” he said.

Read: Joan Burton is the new leader of the Labour Party

Read: Alex White concedes: “This is Joan’s day”

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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