Irish Prime Minister Stepping Down From Position

Ireland Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has announced his decision to step down. During a press briefing outside Parliament in Dublin on Wednesday, Varadkar said that he will be resigning from his position for “personal and political” reasons.

“I know this will come as a surprise to many people and a disappointment to some, but I hope you will understand my decision,” he stated.

“There is never a right time to resign high office. However, this is as good a time as any,” the taoiseach added.

He also revealed that he would be resigning as leader of the Fine Gael party, a resignation that would be effective immediately. He will, however, be staying on as prime minister until his party chooses a new leader, which could happen before the Irish parliament goes on Easter break.

“I believe this government can be re-elected and I believe my party, Fine Gael, can gain seats in the next poll…But, after careful consideration and some soul searching, I believe that a new taoiseach and a new leader will be better placed than me to achieve that, to renew and strengthen the team, to focus our message and policies, to drive implementation. And, after seven years in office, I don’t feel I’m the best person for that job anymore,” he said.

Beyond the explanation he provided, Varadkar, who became Ireland’s first openly gay taoiseach in 2017, emphasized that there is no “real reason” behind his resignation.

“I know, inevitably, there will be speculation as to the ‘real reason’ for my decision. These are the real reasons. That’s it. I have nothing else lined up or in mind. No definite personal or political plans, but I am looking forward to having the time to think about them. I have nothing in mind. I have no definite personal or political plans,” he added.

Per The Daily Wire, an early election will not be held due to Varadkar’s resignation, as Ireland is set to have a general election early next year.