Enda announces that he's stepping down as Taoiseach
20 May, 2017, 01:02
"I will retire as leader of Fine Gael effective from midnight tonight", Kenny said, opening the way for a swift leadership contest.
The governing centre-right party's new leader will be in place by the end of 2 June, Kenny said.
Earlier on Friday Fine Gael leadership challenger Simon Coveney admitted that the momentum is with Mr Varadkar but rejected any suggestion of conceding.
In a statement announcing his retirement, he said it had been a "huge honour and privilege" to lead the party over the course of 15 years.
MICHAEL Noonan is to step down as Minister for Finance and will not seek a seat in the next General Election nor will he seek a seat at the next cabinet table.
He said Minister Simon Coveney is "a very fine politician" but said he believes Mr Varadkar has the "rare combination of intellect and judgement needed for leadership".
Her predecessor David Cameron said Mr Kenny "was a strong leader for Ireland, a great partner for the United Kingdom, and remains a good friend".
The Mayo TD, first elected to the Dáil in 1975, confirmed his departure at a meeting of the parliamentary party this evening. I have chose to implement that decision from today.
He added that he will "continue to carry out my duties and responsibilities as taoiseach" until his replacement.
Helen McEntee, another junior minister in Mr Varadkar's camp, said: "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".
Taoiseach Enda Kenny is in London today for a number of engagements including a speech to the Ireland Funds Great Britain group.
So, scroll back up and vote for who you would pick as the next Fine Gael leader and likely taoiseach. "One of the fundamental tenets of our democracy is a commitment to public service and the Taoiseach [PM] has more than fulfilled that obligation".
Fine Gael chief whip Regina Doherty has publicly declared her support for Leo Varadkar as the party's next leader.
Around 21,000 Fine Gael members will be entitled to vote with TDs and Senators accounting for 65 per cent of the vote, delegates 25 per cent and local councillors the remaining ten per cent share.
Moon has previously expressed ambivalence over the THAAD system and told Xi he was "well aware" of Chinese concerns about it. Moon also raised the issue of apparent economic retaliation against South Korean firms in China , he said.
The soft global cargo market helped push yield down 10.7 percent though, contributing to a revenue decline of SGD$89 million. SIA said this was affected by a 3.8 per cent contraction in passenger yield and a 1.4 per cent decline in passenger traffic.
The SOHR said at least 27 government troops or militia were killed in the attack, on the villages of Aqareb and al-Mabujeh. In recent months, the extremist group has suffered military setbacks and lost territory in the country.
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