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Ireland’s Prime Minister Quits

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar will step down as party leader immediately and will resign as soon as his Fine Gael successor is selected.

Announcing his resignation, Mr Varadkar described leading his country as “the most fulfilling time of my life”.

He said he was stepping down for “personal and political” reasons and was “not the best person for the job anymore”.

He was Ireland’s youngest PM when he became Fine Gael leader at 38 in 2017.

He currently leads the coalition government in Dublin, along with Fianna Fáil and the Green Party.

Speaking from the steps of government buildings in Dublin on Wednesday, Mr Varadkar said he had “led Ireland from unemployment to full employment, from budget deficit to budget surplus, from austerity to prosperity”.

Mr Varadkar added that he was “proud that we have made the country a more equal and more modern place when it comes to the rights of children, the LGBT community, equality for women and their bodily autonomy”.

During his time as taoiseach, Mr Varadkar championed referendums to change the Irish constitution legalising same-sex marriage and abortion.

Mr Varadkar also listed work to improve the affordability of childcare among his achievements as well as increasing government spending on arts and culture, international development, and public infrastructure.

He also conceded that, “There are areas where we have been much less successful” but added: “I hope you’ll forgive me if I leave it to others to point them out on a day like this.”

Mr Varadkar said his reasons for stepping down were “both personal and political”.

He said that he felt the current government “could be re-elected” but he felt he was “not the best person for the job anymore”.



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