Meath East TD firmly backing Varadker to succeed Enda Kenny
Regina Doherty believes Leo Varadker has the "smarts, integrity, sincerity" to be next leader of Fine Gael
The Meath East TD and Govt Chief whip is supporting Leo Varadkar for Leader as is constituency colleague Helen McEntee. Damien English is firmly in the Simon Coveney camp, taking on the director of election role for the Cork South Central TD and Housing Minister.
"Arising from An Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s decision to step down after leading Fine Gael for 15 years through thick and thin we now have a vacancy.
I will be supporting Leo Varadkar as the next Leader of Fine Gael."
For me he simply has all the qualities I want in a leader of Fine Gael and a Taoiseach of our country
"He has smarts – I think it’s clear to everyone that he is an intelligent person.
"He has Integrity – Leo is as honest as the day is long, even when it gets him into hot water.
"He has Sincerity – He is sincere and honest in his engagement with people.
"He is a great Listener - Leo listens which is, for me, probably the most important quality he has. He hears all sides of an argument and then takes an informed decision – That is Leadership and that is the Leo Varadkar I know and the Leo Varadkar that I will be voting for as Leader of my Party and, when he wins, as Leader of my country.
Ms Doherty said she wants Fine Gael policies to reflect the values of its membership providing solutions to the challenges that the Irish people face.
"Fine Gael has built a strong reputation for our management of the Irish economy from near collapse to renewed strength. I believe that Leo Varadkar will be fearless in seeking to deliver a social recovery alongside that. For me he is the most impressive politician of my generation.
Leo is leader with the strengths to renew our party and our country and he has my full and whole hearted support."
Junior Minister Helen McEntee voiced her support for Varadker to see of the challenge of Coveney and become Taoiseach.
"Look at the fresh new approach he has taken to politics, look at how he interacts with people, look at his vision for a more forward-thinking and open Ireland.
"This country needs a leader for the 21st century and Leo is that person".
That leaves Damien English alone among his FG cabinet members in his support of Simon Coveney. As his director of election he released a glowing endorsement of the Housing Minister.
I believe that Simon Coveney is the best person to lead Fine Gael. He is a natural leader – in politics, family, sports and in his work for charity.
Simon has extensive experience in Europe and is the best person to lead the country during the Brexit negotiations. He has a track record of taking on big challenges and delivering upon them and this is what the country needs.
Simon Coveney has proven to be able to work with all sides of the political divide for the benefit of the country. In the aftermath of last year’s General Election Simon was Fine Gael’s chief negotiator in putting in place a Government.
Not only is he the best person to lead Fine Gael, he is the best person to keep the Government together. One that will work for the people and the country.
Most people I meet on a day to day basis tell me they do not want another General Election, instead they want politicians to get on with the job at hand. They want political stability and for this Government to keep working.
Simon has a strong vision for Ireland over the next 25 years and he is very ambitious for the country. He puts a team around him and gets things done.
I believe that Simon Coveney is best placed to ensure that Fine Gael remain in this Government and to lead the Party into the next Government.”