Conway confirms candidacy for Labour deputy leadership

Deputy Ciara Conway

Waterford TD Ciara Conway has confirmed that she is to run for deputy leadership of the Labour Party.

In a statement released this morning the Dungarvan-based TD said that if elected to the position she would not accept any ministerial position.

"I want to influence the direction of this Party, to represent its values, to represent the voice of the membership honestly, without being compromised by the vested interest of Cabinet or Ministerial position," said the 33-year-old.

"I want to be an independent member of the leadership team."

Deputy Conway, who began her political career in the student union at NUI Galway, was elected to Dungarvan Town Council in 2009.

She was elected to the Dáil in 2011, on her first attempt, and is the first ever female TD to represent Waterford for the Labour Party.

"In seeking to serve in that way I am conscious that I also owe an immense duty to the people of Waterford, who elected me in 2011," she continued.

"I will never turn my back on that duty.

"I intend to use my influence to represent the people who sent me to Dáil Eireann as strongly and as effectively as possible – to speak out on their behalf and to represent their aspirations as loudly as possible. I would ask them to judge me on results whenever the next General Election happens."

Deputy Conway's announcement is the latest development in the Labour leadership contest sparked by the resignation of Eamon Gilmore as leader.

Mr Gilmore stepped down from the party's top job following Labour's dismal showing in the local and European elections. The party won no seat in Europe, and secured just over 7% of the first preference vote in local elections - half their previous performance in 2009.

Candidates for the leadership and deputy leadership have until tomorrow to submit their nominations.

Social Protection Minister Joan Burton and Junior Health Minister Alex White have already put their names forward to contest the leadership position, while in the race to be deputy leader Conway faces competition from Junior Transport Minister Alan Kelly, Minister of State for Research and Innovation Seán Sherlock and Cork TD Michael McCarthy.

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