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Phil Prendergast will canvass with Gilmore - even though she doesn't want him to lead Labour

The Tánaiste said he has a “very frank discussion” with Prendergast in his office earlier today.

Eamon Gilmore with Martin Schulz and the Labour MEP candidates (including Phil Prendergast) in Dublin this evening.
Eamon Gilmore with Martin Schulz and the Labour MEP candidates (including Phil Prendergast) in Dublin this evening.
Image: Hugh O'Connell via TheJournal.ie

LABOUR MEP PHIL Prendergast has said she will canvass with the Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore despite saying he should step down as party leader on Monday.

Her comments came after what she said was a “fairly frank discussion” with Gilmore in his office at Government Buildings a day after she called for him to step down following Labour’s latest poor showing in the polls.

The Ireland South MEP Prendergast was at a reception to welcome the European Parliament president and Labour’s European Commission presidential candidate Martin Schulz to Dublin.

The MEP would not address claims that it was hypocritical to canvass with a party leader she doesn’t have confidence in, saying: “He’s the leader of the party, what happened happened and now we move on.”

When pressed on this, she later added: “He is the leader of the party, that’s the reality and now we deal with realities.”

Of her relationship with Gilmore after her dramatic intervention this week she said “we’ve shaken on it, it is cordial” adding that there is a “100 per cent commitment to all the candidates, including myself, that was restated”.

Arriving at the event in central Dublin a short time later, Gilmore said he had a “very frank discussion” with Prendergast but said he would “of course” canvass with her.

“She’s the Labour Party candidate and as far as I’m concerned when the Labour Party selects a candidate, I stand with that candidate full square, and will coninue to do so right up to polling day,” he said.

Joan Burton’s response: Eamon Gilmore is the leader of the Labour Party and I support him in that.

Read: Labour MEP says Gilmore has to go, endorses Joan Burton for leadership

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Hugh O'Connell

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