Labour TDs back going into opposition rather than into government

A private meeting of Labour TDs has reiterated the party’s position that it should go into opposition rather than enter government.

The six party TDs held a teleconference meeting on Tuesday during which they discussed the coronavirus crisis and government formation.

Those on the call were current leader Brendan Howlin, leadership contenders Alan Kelly and Aodhán Ó Ríordáin as well as TDs Ged Nash, Seán Sherlock and Duncan Smith.

One source said there was “no dissension” from the position that Labour should go into opposition while another said Mr Kelly expressed a view that was in line with the “thrust” of the general attitude of the meeting.

The results of the contest between Mr Kelly and Mr Ó Ríordáin to succeed Mr Howlin will be announced on Friday. The question of Labour participating in government has arisen because of a view in Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael that they need a third party to form a solid coalition.

Talks between the two Civil War parties continue today but they command only 72 Dáil seats between them, or eight short of majority, and progress in the negotiations has been slow. They have been seeking the support of the Greens, who want a national unity government, and Independents.