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Rebel TD rejoins Labour despite these tweets

Michael McNamara has been critical of the government over the summer but has now rejoined the Labour parliamentary party.

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CLARE TD MICHAEL McNamara has been readmitted to the Labour parliamentary party despite being critical of the government on Twitter over the summer.

McNamara lost the Labour whip in May after he was the only coalition TD to vote against the sale of Aer Lingus. He was subsequently removed from a number of Oireachtas committees he sat on.

He criticised the party and the government several times on Twitter during the summer months.

Last month he suggested the advanced stages of Stockholm Syndrome had set in with Labour over Joan Burton’s push for a vote pact with Fine Gael:

He did not attend the party’s think-in in Wicklow – where the pact was ratified by TDs and Senators – as he was on honeymoon.

Earlier this month, McNamara described a report authored by a Sinn Féin MEP as a “sensible policy proposal” unlike “the government’s Irish Water craziness”.

In June, he described Ireland’s contribution to the Greek crisis as being like “a fart in a hurricane”:

But in a statement today, the Labour party whip Emmet Stagg said he had informed Burton that McNamara has been readmitted to the parliamentary party with TDs and Senators to be informed at their next meeting.

Despite his recent criticism, McNamara said in a statement that Labour had left its imprint on a government which had “turned the economy around”.

Labour has a huge amount of work to do in the coming months, and in the run-up to the election and I want to play a full part in that work. I will be making it my priority to seek to reform Dáil procedures to ensure that it reflects the priorities of those who vote at elections.
I am proud of the record of this government and, in particular, I am proud of the role that Labour has played in this. When we came to office, the economy was on the brink, thousands of jobs were being lost every month, and the large-scale sale of state resources was under consideration.
Four years later, this has not come to pass. Instead, this government, with Labour at its heart, has turned the economy around. We are now creating 1,300 jobs a week, and we have created fiscal space of some €1.5b for Budget 2016.
As a Party, we have also left our own imprint, with workers’ rights and the minimum wage being increased at a time they were being decreased in other States under bailouts. I don’t for one moment believe that this would have been achieved had we sat on the political side lines.

McNamara will now seek to defend his Labour seat in the four-seat Clare constituency at the next general election.

He is the third Labour TD to have been expelled from the parliamentary party before being readmitted during the current Dáil term.

Westmeath TD Willie Penrose resigned as a minister of state in protest at the closure of Mullingar Army barracks but subsequently rejoined.

Wicklow’s Anne Ferris lost the whip after voting against the party on an abortion bill earlier this year but she was subsquently readmitted.

Of the four other TDs who have been expelled, Colm Keaveney has joined Fianna Fáil, Róisín Shortall has set up the Social Democrats, Tommy Broughan remains an independent and Patrick Nulty has quit politics.

Previously: Rebel TD kicked off committee after just ONE day

Read: Labour TD to lose Dáil office after voting against Aer Lingus sale

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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