Howlin: Labour should keep options open on coalition

Labour TD Brendan Howlin has reportedly broken ranks with the official party line about entering a coalition government with Fianna Fáil.

Party leader Pat Rabbitte has previously insisted he would never deal with Fianna Fáil, but he has confused the issue in recent days by refusing to categorically rule out such an alliance.

Reports this morning say Mr Howlin has now entered the fray by saying Labour should keep its options open as the top priority is to "advance the aspirations of the party and its supporters".

Mr Rabbitte, meanwhile, has again refused to state clearly if he would be willing to enter a coalition with Fianna Fáil in the event of a hung Dáil.

The Labour leader is quoted in The Irish Times as saying he cannot envisage any circumstances in which he would serve in government with Fianna Fáil and had no intention of putting the party back into power.

However, the newspaper says he refused to be drawn on what he would do if there was a hung Dáil after this year's election.

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