Brendan Howlin: if Labor splits, it will fail

Labor leader Brendan Howlin has warned of a split in the party and will result in a failure, stating that changing the leader would not have a substantial impact on voters.

To defend his position amid calls from Labor councilors for a debate on leadership, the Wexford TD refused to commit to a special meeting with dissatisfied members.

The party leader's warning came after criticism from Dáil colleague Alan Kelly, a likely challenger against Mr. Howlin, because of an alleged lack of leadership.

The tension grows between Labor's grassroots and parliamentarians for a pre-Dáil meeting in Drogheda on 16 September.

Howlin said, however, that he will not meet the council members prior to the meeting.

The day before yesterday Miriam O & # 39; Callaghan spoke with RTÉ, everyone said that everyone has the right to an opinion and reiterated that his leadership style is "open and collective".

Nevertheless, demands from more than a dozen Labor Council members for a special meeting with him about the leadership problem are not met, because it is summer and people are gone, he said.

"I have to explain my stance vigorously and clearly, and I will," said Mr Howlin.

He denied that the party had withdrawn from membership and instead said that he was trying to rebuild it and made contact with the trade union movement again.

"I knew that after the last election people were disillusioned by the party and I had no illusion that it would be a simple conversion." It is the wrong analysis to say that changing the name on the door of the labor leader that impact will have, "he said, about recent bad polls.

When asked if Mr. Kelly would be a more pragmatic leader, Mr. Howlin said: "I am not the only voice of the PvdA party. [O’Sullivan]Willie [Penrose]Brendan [Ryan]Sean [Sherlock] – they are all members of the PvdA. There are people who want him to be a leader; there are people who wanted to become leaders from day one. "

However, there was also a clear warning about the possibility that the party would split the leadership issue. A group of council members already supports Mr Kelly privately while most of the TD & # 39; s and senators support Mr Howlin who is still standing for the time being.

Mr. Howlin warned: "I want a common approach from everyone, if we share, if it is a matter of X about Y, we will fail.

"We must succeed by working together for the values ​​we stand for, which are now relevant."

He also defended his performance in the Dáil. Personality politics now dominate, he admits, but this does not solve real problems for the Irish people.

After criticizing Mr. Kelly for an absence of leadership on economic issues, Mr. Howlin said it was his strength after spending five years as a minister in government spending.

He also reiterated the conviction that Labor would be able to double its Dáil seats to 14 after the next general election.

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