FG leadership battle to precede Longford convention

BREAKING: Enda Kenny has officially announced his resignation

He subsequently became the first Fine Gael Taoiseach to be elected to a second consecutive term on 6 May 2016, after two months of negotiations following the 2016 election, forming a Fine Gael-led minority government.

In the Next Taoiseach market Micheál Martin remains favourite but has been eased to 4/6 from 1/2 whilst Leo Varadkar has seen his price shorten into 2/1 from 9/4 with Simon Coveney also seeing his price halved into 3/1 from 6/1.

The new party head is set to be announced on June 2.

"As the political landscape continues to shift, at home and overseas, his forthright style and ability to effect change makes him the best-placed candidate to deal with the challenges facing us".

"I want to lead a party and a country that can heal numerous divisions that have opened up over the last decade or so".

Joe Carey is due to make an announcemnet in the coming days, while Junior Minister Pat Breen is due to declare tomorrow.

Kenny will remain as a party leader in acting capacity until his successor is elected.

"I believe now is a good time for a new Finance Minister to take up office", Noonan said in a statement.

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Kenny has been a member of the parliament for west Ireland's County Mayo since 1975, having succeeded his father Henry Kenny.

I will continue to carry out my duties as Minister for Finance until a successor is appointed.

"That landed us as local councillors in the local elections in 2014 with a hill to climb.It was tough campaign but I wouldn't blame that on Enda", he said.

Other achievements during the 66-year-old's time in government include the legalisation of gay marriage.

Athlone Senator Gabrielle McFadden has come out in support of Simon Coveney in the Fine Gael leadership battle, but her party colleage in Westmeath, Deputy Peter Burke, is backing Leo Varadkar.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast earlier, the Public Expenditure Minister described Varadkar as "the most substantial and capable politician of my generation". No one deserves it more.

Currently, a party leadership contest has officially begun.

Rank-and-file members are allocated 25 percent and councilors 10 percent.

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