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Creighton “not involved” in talks on new political party

The Fine Gael ‘rebels’ who were expelled from the parliamentary party are in talks about getting speaking rights – but will they form a new party?

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

ARE FINE GAEL ‘rebels’ in talks to form a new political party?

Lucinda Creighton told TheJournal.ie that she was “not involved” in talks about a new party, despite reports in today’s Sunday Times that she is leading moves to form one.

Creighton said “I’m not involved in such talks” when asked about the article.

The Sunday Times reports that Creighton, who was expelled from the party and resigned from her seat as European Affairs Minister after she voted against the government on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013, is looking to form a new socially conservative party.

It says that TDs Creighton, Billy Timmins, Brian Walsh, Terence Flanagan, Peter Mathews and Senator Paul Bradford are all involved in talks.

However, Deputy Timmins told TheJournal.ie that the issue of a new party is not one that he has a definitive answer to – and that like anything in politics, he can’t say yes or no.

Talks

Deputy Billy Timmons. Pic: James Horan/Photocall Ireland

Timmins confirmed that he and the other expelled Fine Gael TDs have been in talks about their future in the party, but said that “the only thing we’ve looked at is trying to work together as a group in the Dáil”.

They are doing this, he explained, to discuss how they can get speaking rights, which they do not have as expelled members of a parliamentary party.

Timmins said he has a motion down for mention that looks at trying to get speaking rights for the expelled members – this would involve enabling a second Technical Group to be formed through a change to standing orders, said the Sunday Times.

The TD said that is “as far as it goes” and that the individuals are looking to work together as a group. They “have met and we have decided that we are better trying to work collaboratively as opposed to individually”, he said.

They want to progress that and see how they can “get recognition in the Dáil as [a] cohesive [group]“, he explained. They are “hopeful” that the government will recognise their request.

“As it stands we don’t even have… we can’t even go cap in hand to ask for speaking time,” he pointed out.

Timmins said that the last few months have shown him “never rule anything in or out in politics”.

“I never thought I’d be expelled from Fine Gael for sticking to core values,” said Deputy Timmins.

That doesn’t mean to say yes or say no [to a new party]. It is only a few weeks since we were expelled. We are not rushing.

He said that the changes in going from being a member of the parliamentary party to being outside it are “not tangible when the Dáil isn’t sitting”, and that he has sent the Secretary General two letters to establish on a legal basis what the restrictions on him are.

First published 14.42

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