Irish PM unexpectedly quits

Leo Varadkar announced on Wednesday that he is resigning as Irish Taoiseach and leader of the ruling Fine Gael party. The 45-year-old said he was no longer the best person for the job and that both personal and professional considerations had led to his decision. Commentators suspect political fiascos are the main reason for his stepping down.

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The Irish Times (IE) /

Too many failures, too little progress

Varadkar neglected key issues, The Irish Times argues:

“The Government's failure to tackle the housing crisis is its most significant failure. Record homelessness is a blight on this administration - and on this State. ... Progress in the health service has been patchy and too slow, while we still await a serious inquiry into the Covid response. Even if the precise reasons for Varadkar's departure - and its timing - remain unclear, he is not leaving because everything is going well. ... He leaves the party facing into difficult European and local elections at a time when its morale is low and its electoral prospects uncertain.”

The Spectator (GB) /

His days were numbered anyway

Varadkar failed particularly on the issue of immigration, says The Spectator:

“Varadkar's government rebuffed people's concerns with platitudes appealing to Ireland's 'compassion' and wooden language about its 'international obligations'. This catapulted immigration from a fringe concern to the number one issue in Irish politics, and converted a once compliant Irish public into reflexive sceptics. The dam looked as if it was about to burst yesterday as ten TDs in Varadkar's Fine Gael party announced they would not run in the next election. ... Varadkar jumped before he was pushed.”