Leo Varadkar 'must come clean' over contract shared with GP friend, Sinn Fein say

The Tanaiste must come clean over a contract he shared with a GP pal, Sinn Fein have said. Health spokesman David Cullinane blasted Leo ...

The Tanaiste must come clean over a contract he shared with a GP pal, Sinn Fein have said.

Health spokesman David Cullinane blasted Leo Varadkar’s actions as Taoiseach Micheal Martin and the Green Party also expressed concerns.

Mr Varadkar admitted he showed a draft pay agreement with the Irish Medical Organisation to a rival group earlier this year.

The Tanaiste also denied any wrongdoing by showing the document to Dr Maitiu O Tuathail of the now-defunct National Association of General Practitioners.

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar

He also said that when he shared the document it was not confidential or sensitive and the claims, originally published in the Village Magazine on Saturday, are “both inaccurate and grossly defamatory”.

Mr Varadkar will make a further statement and face questions in relation to the alleged leak in the Dail later this week.

And his Government coalition partners are not backing him, as it is understood the Taoiseach is “not happy” with how it got out.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Greens branded Mr Varadkar’s actions as “inappropriate”.

And Opposition parties are out for blood as Sinn Fein claims he is hiding behind “lame excuses” .

Mr Cullinane said he does not accept Mr Varadkar’s claim that the draft contract was not confidential or sensitive.

Sinn Fein TD David Cullinane at Leinster House, Dublin

He told RTE Radio One’s This Week: “I don’t think it is acceptable the Tanaiste is hiding behind lame excuses.

“The facts for me here are clear – that Leo, as the leader of Fine Gael at the time and as Taoiseach, passed on a document to a friend.

“The Tanaiste has to come clean. And he has to accept that this was absolutely and completely unacceptable and inappropriate.

“He talked about ‘informal communication channels’.

“It wasn’t just informal, it was inappropriate. It was wrong.

“He knows in his heart that this was wrong and he should come clean.”

But Mr Varadkar’s party colleague, Paschal Donohoe, defended the Tanaiste.

The Finance Minister said that while Mr Varadkar’s actions may not have been best practice, they were driven by a desire to serve the public and encourage GPs to agree to the new contract.

He also said the information Mr Varadkar shared was in “broad circulation” at the time.

Mr Donohoe added: “I worked with Leo Varadkar on public pay for well over three years as Minister for Public Expenditure and as Finance Minister.

“And at all times he has been guided by trying to do the right thing by the Exchequer and in this case, by patients and by GPs.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: Leo Varadkar 'must come clean' over contract shared with GP friend, Sinn Fein say
Leo Varadkar 'must come clean' over contract shared with GP friend, Sinn Fein say
Newsrust - US Top News
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