Government backs Leo Varadkar in confidence vote

Government backs Leo Varadkar in confidence vote

LEO VARADKAR will continue in the role of Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment after he was backed by TDs in a confidence motion yesterday evening.

Sinn Féin had tabled a motion of no confidence against the Fine Gael leader after it was found he had leaked confidential information to a friend while he was serving as Taoiseach in April 2019.

Mr Varadkar apologised for his actions, saying he made "errors of judgement", but argued he was not close friends with the GP to whom he sent the confidential agreement, Dr Maitiú Ó Tuathail.

He also claimed his motivation for leaking the document was to provide better healthcare in Ireland, not to benefit a friend.

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar had faced a confidence motion in the Dáil. Photo: Julien Behal Photography /

The Government coalition of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party tabled their own motion of confidence in the Tánaiste to counter Sinn Féin's no-confidence motion, and with a clear majority it was widely expected that Mr Varadkar would survive the vote.

The coalition, along with a number of Independents, backed the Fine Gael leader in the confidence vote by 92 votes to 65.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin accused Sinn Féin of tabling the no-confidence motion as a "cynical move" designed to disrupt the Government; former Tánaiste Simon Coveney agreed Sinn Féin were attempting to sow division within the Government.

However, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said Mr Varadkar had made a "conscious decision" to leak confidential information to his friend and Mr Martin has done nothing about it, accusing him of "failure of leadership".

Mr Varadkar again apologised for his actions following the vote.