Sinn Féin table no confidence motion in Leo Varadkar

Sinn Féin table no confidence motion in Leo Varadkar

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said he had worked with Leo Varadkar in negotiating public pay deals and the management of public pay for three years while Mr Varadkar was Taoiseach and that Mr Varadkar had always "conducted himself to the highest of standards".

Sinn Féin has tabled a motion of no-confidence in Tánaiste Leo Varadkar over the controversial leak of a confidential GP contract to his friend.

The Fine Gael leader has come under fire this week for passing documents regarding a GP pay deal with the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) to the NAGP, a rival organisation.

The motion is to be debated in the Dáil on Tuesday, and will drag the controversy out for another week.

Mr Varadkar has admitted leaking details of the pay deal to his friend and NAGP president Dr Maitiú O Tuathail, but denied any wrongdoing.

The Tánaiste argued that he did so in the interest of securing backing for the agreement from all groups of general practitioners.

A Sinn Féin spokesman said: "This motion will allow the Dáil to say to the people that no one is above being held to account and that there are consequences when you act as Leo Vardakar has done. "

Lessons must be learned over the Tánaiste's leaking of confidential Government documents, Tourism Minister Catherine Martin has said.

The Green Party TD said those lessons needed to be put into practice by those in Government.

"We felt it was inappropriate what had happened," she said.

"The Tánaiste has acknowledged that and has apologised and we take him on his word.

"We acknowledge that apology that the lessons must be learned and we very clearly said it should never be repeated."

Ms Martin made the comments on Friday morning as the Government unveiled details of its Covid restrictions support scheme.

Catherine Martin said she had always had a "very good working relationship" with Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.

"I personally have confidence in working with the Tánaiste," she said.

"I've worked well with him up to date and will continue to work with him."

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said he had worked with Leo Varadkar in negotiating public pay deals and the management of public pay for three years while Mr Varadkar was Taoiseach and that Mr Varadkar had always "conducted himself to the highest of standards".

"We dealt with many, many, many sensitive and demanding issues in relation to public pay and he always conducted himself to the highest of standards," Mr Donohoe said.

The Dublin Central TD made the comments on Friday morning prior to Sinn Féin's announcement that it will table a motion of no-confidence in the Tánaiste next week.

Mr Donohoe added that the Tánaiste was always aware of the "sensitivities of the matters and the need for care".

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