The Labour Party’s Laois senator is backing the candidacy of Minister Joan Burton to be the next leader of the party.
Senator John Whelan confirmed the backing for the Minister for Social Protection and said as well as her many personal attributes she has excelled in asignificant and difficult cabinet portfolio.
“She is very robust and well able to hold her own around the cabinet table,” he said, adding that she was the only senior cabinet member from Labour willing to attend the All-Ireland ploughing championships when they were hosted in Laois.
“She received a very warm response at the event and I know the people that met her at it were very impressed by her,” he said.
Senator Whelan said the Labour party needs to be more in touch with those on the ground and be less guided by spin doctors and advisers. He said the party needs to function better under a different style of leadership.
“A good Labour party, functioning well and listening to the electorate can have a positive impact and input,” he said.
While acknowledging Labour stalwart Jack Wall’s request for the leadership contest to be done without rancour, he said he did not feel Deputy Alex White, the other candidate for the party leadership, was the ideal person.