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Motion of no-confidence in Tanaiste necessary, says Sinn Fein

Leo Varadkar is set to face a motion of no-confidence tabled by Sinn Fein in the Dail on Tuesday.

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Tanaiste Leo Varadkar (Tom Honan/Julien Behal Photography/PA)

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar (Tom Honan/Julien Behal Photography/PA)

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar (Tom Honan/Julien Behal Photography/PA)

Sinn Fein has defended its decision to table a motion of no-confidence in the Tanaiste.

The party’s health spokeswoman Louise O’Reilly has described the motion tabled by her party as both “necessary” and “very important”.

Leo Varadkar is set to face a vote of no-confidence in the Dail on Tuesday.

TDs will debate and vote on the motion at Dublin Convention Centre after the Dail met in Leinster House earlier to allow proceedings to move to the bigger venue for Covid-19 social distancing reasons.

It comes after the Fine Gael leader came under fire last week for passing documents regarding a GP pay deal with the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) to the NAGP, a rival organisation, in 2019.

Mr Varadkar has admitted leaking the pay deal to his friend and NAGP president, Dr Maitiu O Tuathail.

Although the Tanaiste said his actions were “not best practice”, he insisted he had nothing personally to gain from the leak and said he did so in order to secure backing for the deal from all GPs.

Mr Varadkar has been backed on the issue by his coalition partners in Fianna Fail and the Green Party, following a Dail statement early last week.

But Sinn Fein tabled the motion on Friday, with the party’s leader Mary Lou McDonald saying they were doing so because she believed the Tanaiste had failed to properly account for his actions.,

Speaking ahead of the debate on Tuesday, Ms O’Reilly said: “I note the attempts by various members of Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and the Green Party and others to try and deflect from the seriousness of that and we really cannot allow that to happen.

This is a very serious issue. It's an issue around accountability. It's about insiders, it's about upstairs downstairs, it's not what you know it's who you knowLouise O'Reilly, Sinn Fein

“This is a very serious issue. It’s an issue around accountability. It’s about insiders, it’s about upstairs downstairs, it’s not what you know it’s who you know.

“For that reason we believe it is extremely important and a very necessary debate that we will be having.”

In response to the no-confidence motion, the Government is set to table a counter-motion of confidence in the Tanaiste.

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A spokesman for Mr Varadkar last week accused Sinn Fein of “political mudslinging”.

He said: “The Tanaiste dealt with all the issues in the Dail this week.

“This motion clearly shows that Sinn Fein isn’t interested in what actually happened.

“They’re only interested in political mudslinging, attacking the Irish Government at a time of national crisis and diverting attention from the unanswered questions about their receipt of public money in the North.”

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