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Kelly calls for major change in Labour

Thursday, 6 September 2018

TIPPERARY Labour TD, Alan Kelly, shocked many of his party's supporters last week when he unexpectedly called for a leadership change and radical shake-up of Labour on local radio.
Speaking to Fran Curry on TippFM's Tipp Today programme, Deputy Kelly, a native of Portroe in North Tipperary, said Labour are no longer connecting with the public and called for a shift in direction.
We need a radical shake-up. We need to change the direction of the party. We need a different vision. We need far more energy, he said, which attracted condemnation from many of the party faithful, who criticised his lack of consultation with his party before discussing such weighty issues unexpectedly on live radio.
Deputy Kelly said Labour are failing to build a relationship with voters at a local level and that Labour candidates for the next general election needed to be in the strongest possible position, which he feels is not the case.
After a failed attempted to secure the reins of leadership in 2016 because he could not attract a large enough swell of support within the party ranks, Deputy Kelly said on TippFM last week that if the leadership position becomes vacant he plans to try and be the party's next leader.
If the position was vacant Id put my name forward. I cant give out my vision of where I believe I would go. But we need to change the way, the direction of the party. We need a different vision. We need far more energy.
At this moment in time that is not happening, and Im not seeing anything to make it happen, so it does need that significant change, he said.
When asked directly if he feels the current part leader, Brendan Howlin, should step aside, Deputy Kelly said he thinks Labour are in a very difficult situation and that radical change is the solution.
I know I am working as hard as I can in Tipperary. I know Im working nationally and locally as hard as I can and I know a number of other people are as well and weve so many good candidates around the country, he said.
A leadership challenge to Brendan Howlin would require the support of two-thirds of the Central Council, which has almost 50 members and made up of people from all sections of the party.
Supporters of Mr Howlin have said Deputy Kelly has little chance of building the level of support required to become the party's next leader.
Currently Labour have only one County Councillor in Tipperary Cllr Fiona Bonfield who is based in the Nenagh Municipal District.

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