Portroe’s Alan Kelly has been formally nominated to contest the Labour leadership.
The Tipperary TD is hoping to replace Brendan Howlin.
Ged Nash has ruled out running for the job, leaving only Aodan O’Riordain as a potential rival to Kelly.
Alan Kelly says he believes the Labour Party needs a full rebuild.
Kelly, who was nominated by fellow TD’s, Deputy Duncan Smith & Deputy Seán Sherlock, was accompanied by elected representatives and party supporters as he lodged his official papers to Labour Party Head Office.
Speaking afterwards, Deputy Kelly said that he will fight fearlessly and relentlessly to restore Labour to leadership of the left. He said:
“The reality of where we are at today as a country is that, as we reach full employment and our economy grows, more and more people are being left behind. For the Labour Party, the party of the worker, that is unacceptable and that is what we will prioritise if I am elected leader. There must be more to society than running to stand still.”
“The party was founded to advance the interest of workers. Now it is time to go back to basics.”
“We must rebuild our party, take it back to the grass roots, cover every corner of the country in doing so and regenerate the trust we had with the people of Ireland that, no matter what, Labour puts the people first. There is a hard road ahead and it will take time, but the rebuilding of the party must revolve around putting workers and their families at the centre of political discourse.”
Deputy Duncan Smith said;
“I am delighted to nominate Alan and I look forward to a positive and inclusive debate about the party’s future. We have strong TD’s, soon to be joined by strong Senators. Working together under a strong and fully inclusive leadership, we will win back the support of former Labour voters and re-establish ourselves as the party of working people. I believe Alan has the capability to achieve this.”
Deputy Sean Sherlock said:
“I am honoured to second Alan’s nomination. The contest should be a positive and inclusive one and the members will have their say over the future direction of the party. The Labour Party needs to unite and campaign around its core purpose and Alan has demonstrated both the ability and energy to achieve that.”
Deputy Kelly concluded:
“We might be at a low ebb in terms of parliamentary success but never before has what Labour stood for been more needed. The realignment in national politics whereby the traditional larger parties are moving inexorably closer has created a void that honest, hard-working and considered social reformists must fill. Labour is the only party that can do that and our hard work begins now.”
“Finally, I want to thank our outgoing leader Deputy Brendan Howlin for his selfless commitment to the Labour Party across four decades. I wish my competitors well in their bid also. Above all, I want to stress to our members that we have had dark days but there is a future ahead, a bright future for the Labour Party. Together we will rebuild Labour, restore it to a place where it gives responsible leadership of the left, implements social reforms and protects and promotes all those in society who deserve better than their lot today.”