Harris declares ‘I’m in’ and now set to become youngest ever Taoiseach at 37

by Gazette Reporter
0 comment

After a day of intense speculation Higher Education Minister Simon Harris, declared his candidacy and with all his rivals pulling out, now seems certain to be the next Fine Gael leader and youngest ever Taoiseach at  37.

 With potential alternative candidates deciding not to run all through Thursday, Deputy Harris went on RTE at teatime to state: “I’m in, I want to be the next leader of Fine Gael. I’m ready to step up and I’m ready to serve. I really thank them for that.”

He went on: “I’m overwhelmed, honoured and a little taken aback” by the support he received from his Fine Gael colleagues and the party membership. I’m extremely grateful for the level of support that I’ve received today from all strands of our party,” he revealed on Six One News on RTE television.

By lunch-time it was clear that Harris had a clear majority of the parliamentary party behind him and with  Ministers Paschal Donohoe, Heather Humphreys, Helen McEntee and Simon Coveney all deciding against running to replace Leo Varadkar, who announced his shock resignation on Wednesday morning.

 Ms Humphreys said she had given the prospect of running serious consideration but decided against it adding that  she would be backing Simon Harris in the event of a contest.

In a statement Mr Donohoe said he would not be a candidate as he wanted to continue operating in his responsibilities in the Cabinet and Europe.

Both Ms McEntee and Mr Coveney were the first two minister to state they would not contest the leadership election.

Related Articles