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Opposition restate calls for immediate general election

Sinn Féin TD Louise O’Reilly has said it is now “very clear” that a general election is required after Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris became leader of Fine Gael today.

The party’s spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, Employment and Workers Rights said the appointment of Mr Harris is not “the change workers and families need”.

“The case for a general election is very clear. Leo Varadkar has walked off the pitch as Taoiseach, saying he’s not up to the job,” Ms O’Reilly said.

“Today he has been replaced as Fine Gael leader by a senior minister who has sat around the Cabinet table for the past eight years while the biggest housing crisis the State has ever seen has been allowed to develop due to government inaction. This is not change,” she said.

Ms O’Reilly added: “This is a Government that has failed on all of the key issues facing workers and families; on housing, on health and with respect to the cost of living. They are out of touch, out of ideas and out of time.

“We need a change of Government without delay because the appointment of Simon Harris does not represent change; but rather more of the same.

“The Government must put their record to the people, and let the public decide who becomes Taoiseach,” she said.

Harris should call for election, says Bacik

Ivana Bacik said that she wanted to see urgent action on housing

Labour leader Ivana Bacik has said that she wished Mr Harris well as Fine Gael leader, but said that Leo Varadkar’s decision to leave was “the ultimate vote of no confidence in his own Government” and it took everyone by surprise.

“I have put it to Simon Harris now, if he has confidence in his Government and that it will be reelected, he should call a general election now,” she said on RTÉ’s The Week In Politics.

She added that she wanted to see urgent action now on housing and the key thing is setting the target.

Ms Bacik also said that the Government needed to do more for renters rights and to scale up house building now.

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