Leo Varadkar resigns as Taoiseach

Leo Varadkar resigns as Taoiseach

LEO VARADKAR has announced that he is to step down as leader of Ireland after attempts to elect a new Taoiseach ended without agreement in the Dail on Thursday night.

He told parliament that for the time being, he will stay on in the role as 'caretaker' until a new government is formed amid deadlocked coalition talks.

Varadkar's resignation follows a disappointing parliamentary vote result.

The Fine Gael party leader only received 31 votes, compared with Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald's 45 and Fianna Fail's Micheál Martin's 41.

The final candidate, The Green Party's Eamon Ryan registered just 12 votes.

The process was always likely to achieve very little, given that no party managed to secure a parliamentary majority in this month's General Election.

80 seats were needed for a majority, in order to all but guarantee the 80 votes which are required to appoint a Taoiseach in the 160-seat chamber.

Adding to the disappointing election result suffered by his party, Varadkar felt he had no choice but to step away.

He told the Dail before resigning: "The responsibility is on all of us to ensure we provide good government, and indeed good opposition.

"I think the onus is on those who have made enormous promises of change to the people during this election who are entrusted with that mandate to bring a programme of government for approval.

"If they cannot, they should say so and be upfront and honest about their failures and the empty promises they made."

Mr Varadkar later travelled to the Aras an Uachtarain, the office of president Michael D. Higgins, to officially resign.