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Fine Gael’s Simon Harris set to be elected Taoiseach

Fine Gael Leader Simon Harris is set to be elected Taoiseach in the Dáil later this morning.

The 37-year-old father-of-two will be appointed Ireland’s 15th Taoiseach, after the surprise resignation of Leo Varadkar as party leader three weeks ago.

Mr Varadkar tendered his tendered his resignation to President Michael D Higgins yesterday evening.

The Dáil will convene at 10.30am to begin the process of electing a new Taoiseach.

Mr Harris will be proposed for the role by Minister for Social Protection and Fine Gael deputy leader Heather Humphreys.

This will be seconded by junior minister Peter Burke who is widely tipped to be appointed a Cabinet minister later this evening.

Mr Harris is on course to win the support of up to 87 TDs with several independent TDs agreeing to back him.

At lunchtime he is expected to make his way to Áras an Uachtarain to formally be appointed Taoiseach.

He will become the youngest person to hold the role.

Later in the evening he will reveal changes to the Fine Gael ministerial ranks with Jennifer Carroll MacNeill viewed as a contender for promotion.

However, there are only a limited number of vacancies and others like Hildegarde Naughton and Patrick O’Donovan are also linked with moves.

Interestingly, the junior role at European Affairs is set to become more prominent and is understood to be earmarked for someone the incoming Taoiseach feels is under utilised in their current role.

This post will be announced today with the remainder of the ministers of state made known tomorrow.

TDs Alan Dillon, Emer Higgins and Colm Burke could be promoted to the junior ranks.

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