Quinn criticises lack of 'decency' from Labour colleagues

Education Minister Ruairí Quinn said the decision by Labour leader Eamon Gilmore to resign was his own - but junior TDs should have had "the decency" to give him more time.

"He wasn't given the decency or the space to make that decision in a timely manner - he was trying to contact one member of his family who was aboard, so he probably resigned slightly earlier than he had intended," he said.

"That's my interpretation, it's not what he said to me".

"And as Kevin Humphreys has said, and as I've already repeated: I resent the way the motion of no confidence was suggested."

Social Protection Minister Joan Burton is considered the frontrunner for the job. She is already known to have lobbied some Labour TDs for their support ahead of July's leadership contest.

Alex White is also tipped to be entering the contest.

Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin today fuelled speculation that he is set to challenge for the Labour leadership.

When asked if he was making a leadership pitch, the Wexford TD says he will make a decision about his role in the party's reform over the next two days.

"There will be a team of people - and that's every member of the parliamentary party, every consistency organisation - who collectively have to be part of the reform," he said.

"So I'll be part of that; what role I'll play, I'm going to decide in the next day or two."

Minister Howlin said that he has no view as to whether that early lobbying is appropriate - he that a change in leader will strengthen the party.

"I'm not going to prescribe what other colleagues want or should do," he said.

"My view is that the party will act as a collective, we are in a party because we share values and share perspectives.

"I'm very confident that the process that will be embarked upon now will strengthen the party, that's the objective of it."

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