Statement by Alan Kelly TD following Labour Leadership election
Following the conclusion of the Labour Party Leadership contest, Labour Party Leader, Alan Kelly TD, said:
“It is an absolute honour to be elected as Leader of the Labour Party by the members and to have received so much support from different parts of the country throughout my campaign. I have been a Labour member throughout my life, involved at all levels of the organisation and this is a responsibility I take very seriously.
“Firstly, I want to pay tribute to Aodhán and his family at this time. Aodhán brings something special to the Labour Party and I know that we will be uniting now in working together to bring us forward and do what is right for the country.
“I also want to thank Brendan Howlin for his for his selfless commitment to the Labour Party across four decades. He has been a pillar of strength to the Party and the country through his public service and I know he will continue to serve the country in the years ahead.
“Nearly two months ago, we were dealing with the aftermath of a ‘change election’, little did we know then how much change the country would see in the time since then. Ireland has changed utterly in the last eight weeks with the spread of Covid-19.
“We are living in very uncertain times and all signs are showing that we are going to have to have a very different type of politics in order to cope with and recover from the social and economic devastation caused by Covid-19.
“In this time of crisis Labour will offer constructive support for the national effort as we have done over the last few weeks. As Leader I will of course continue to engage with all parties but when it comes to forming a government we have been very clear since the General Election, that it is up to other parties to take their responsibilities seriously and it is up to them to form a stable government. It seems that some parties are more interested in playing politics than solving the crisis the people of this country face.
“With the election of 5 new Senators this week our Oireachtas team has nearly doubled. With that new strength we will continue to work to make Ireland a better place especially in the areas of healthcare, education and job creation.
“I believe this party has a bright future but it’s not something we can take for granted. It will take vision, hard work and dedication. Our job is to convince voters that Labour will focus and fight on the things that really matter to them, especially in the uncertain times ahead.”