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Harris Set To Be Next FG Leader & Taoiseach As Main Rivals Drop Out

IRELAND

Higher Education Minister Simon Harris is now all-but-assured to become the next leader of the centre-right Fine Gael (FG) party, and therefore the next Irish Taoiseach (PM), with each of the other main contenders for the position having ruled themselves out in the 24 hours since the incumbent Leo Varadkar announced his intention to stand down. Any other potential candidates have until 25 April to gain the backing of six members of the 55-strong FG parliamentary group to get onto the ballot.

  • Budget Minister and Eurogroup President Paschal Donohoe has ruled himself out of the race, stating that "I have long said that my focus is on the two jobs that I am privileged to hold; that of Government Minister and as President of the Eurogroup. That remains to be the case. It is with a huge honour that I undertake my work on the domestic and international stage.
  • Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys has also dropped out of the running, stating “I discussed it at length with my family and I have reached the decision that I will not be putting my name forward as leader of Fine Gael, but I will be giving my full support to Simon Harris,
  • Harris gained a significant public profile having served as Ireland's health minister at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. He has also served as justice minister and as a junior minister at the finance department.
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Higher Education Minister Simon Harris is now all-but-assured to become the next leader of the centre-right Fine Gael (FG) party, and therefore the next Irish Taoiseach (PM), with each of the other main contenders for the position having ruled themselves out in the 24 hours since the incumbent Leo Varadkar announced his intention to stand down. Any other potential candidates have until 25 April to gain the backing of six members of the 55-strong FG parliamentary group to get onto the ballot.

  • Budget Minister and Eurogroup President Paschal Donohoe has ruled himself out of the race, stating that "I have long said that my focus is on the two jobs that I am privileged to hold; that of Government Minister and as President of the Eurogroup. That remains to be the case. It is with a huge honour that I undertake my work on the domestic and international stage.
  • Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys has also dropped out of the running, stating “I discussed it at length with my family and I have reached the decision that I will not be putting my name forward as leader of Fine Gael, but I will be giving my full support to Simon Harris,
  • Harris gained a significant public profile having served as Ireland's health minister at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. He has also served as justice minister and as a junior minister at the finance department.