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Dublin: 7 °C Wednesday 22 January, 2020

Leo v Simon: TV3 'very interested' in hosting a Fine Gael leadership debate

Leo Varadkar has said he would be “happy” to debate his rivals in a televised debate.

Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar are among the frontrunners to succeed Enda Kenny.
Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar are among the frontrunners to succeed Enda Kenny.
Image: Sam Boal/

TV3 HAS SAID it would be extremely interested in televising a live debate between the candidates for the Fine Gael leadership, after Enda Kenny steps down.

While “nothing was set in stone yet”, a spokesperson for TV3 told that the possibility of hosting a debate between Leo Varadkar, Simon Coveney and others was something that “producers were currently exploring”.

Varadkar told the Irish Examiner that he would be “happy” to take part in a live debate with his rivals for the leadership.

Such an event would would bring Irish politics into uncharted waters.

While the run-up to general elections, presidential elections and referendums have featured televised debates, this would be the first time that the potential leaders of a political party have made their pitches in this format.

This issue surrounding the Fine Gael leadership is magnified by its current status in government. Barring an election when Kenny steps down, it is likely this individual could become the next Taoiseach.

While the race to succeed Enda hasn’t officially started yet – after Kenny quelled any disquiet at last week’s parliamentary meeting – Varadkar has emerged as the early favourite to succeed Kenny as Fine Gael leader in a number of polls.

It is believed that other potential candidates for the party leadership include Richard Bruton, Frances Fitzgerald and Simon Harris.

Read: Former Fine Gael and Independent TD Peter Mathews has died aged 65

Read: Varadkar edges ahead of Coveney in Fine Gael leadership poll

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Sean Murray

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