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Exiled Fine Gael TDs and Senators have "no plans" to form a new party - "at the moment"

Paul Bradford, the temporary spokesperson for the group of eight Fine Gael TDs and Senators, says that government should be “grown up” and allow the rebels speaking rights in the Dáil and Seanad.

Senator Paul Bradford and his wife Lucinda Creighton are two of the ex-Fine Gael politicians who are seeking speaking rights.
Senator Paul Bradford and his wife Lucinda Creighton are two of the ex-Fine Gael politicians who are seeking speaking rights.
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

EIGHT REBEL FINE Gael politicians have called on the government to allow them speaking time in the Dáil, with one senator urging his former colleagues to “be a bit grown up”.

Yesterday, government chief whip Paul Kehoe told TheJournal.ie that the coalition has “no plans” to allow the rebel group form a second technical group.

Senator Paul Bradford, who along with seven others has lost the Fine Gael party whip, said that the government should take political reform seriously.

At a time when the government is talking about political reform, and when it is shutting down one house of democracy, I would hope that it doesn’t shut down parliamentarians from speaking,” Bradford told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

Bradford, who is the temporary spokesperson for the group, added that there were no plans to form a breakaway party.

We have no intention, at the moment, of forming a new party.

“We are all former Fine Gael members and are outside the fold and want to use our time.
It is not through any wish of our own that we are outside the government.”

When asked if the Fine Gael rebels would join with the existing Technical Group, Bradford said that it was unlikely, given ideological differences.

“The eight former Fine Gael members would have a fairly common view on things.”

Bradford says that he hoped that the government would adopt the system that is in place in the Seanad, where there are two independent groups.

“The current Seanad rules could work in the Dail. Let’s be a bit grown up and mature.”

Read: Government rules out Fine Gael rebels’ bid to form second Dáil technical group

Read: No sign of Fine Gael rebels and Labour TDs teaming up for speaking rights

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