Cabinet reshuffle 'may be delayed' over Economic Management Council meeting

Richard Bruton - could retain key Jobs portfolio

It now looks like the eagerly anticipated Cabinet reshuffle may not be announced this afternoon, as had been widely expected.

An unscheduled meeting of the Economic Management Council, which includes the Taoiseach and a number of ministers, is to take place today.

They are due to hold further discussions on the assignment of policies to certain departments, which could delay details until later tonight or tomorrow.

Enda Kenny and Joan Burton are facing a third morning of talks before they announce who will be joining them around the Cabinet table.

The group are set to go to Áras an Uachtaráin later to collect their seals of office and hold their first meeting.

So far the talks between the two leaders are said to have been making slow progress, with advisors excluded on each day.

Indications are that Deputies Kenny and Burton have more or less agreed their policy objectives for the final 18 months in office.

However, work remains to be done on the division of departments, on moving current Ministers around and on bringing in the new faces.

Yesterday, the current Cabinet met for the last time and some Ministers gave their reaction to developments.

Political Editor with the Irish Times Stephen Collins said that despite speculation that Labour was demanding the jobs portfolio, Richard Bruton could keep his position.

"He's a loyal member of the Cabinet despite the fact that he challenged Enda Kenny before the goverment took office" he said.

"But this time around I think he's gone out quite publicly saying the importance of jobs, pointing to the good job that's been done - I would be surprised if Richard Bruton does move from Jobs.

"They may hive off some of the department into a trade department, or trade and tourism, or something like that," he added.

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