Emotional Leo Varadkar to step down as Irish Prime Minister: 'I don't feel I'm the best person for the job anymore'

Emotional Leo Varadkar to step down as Irish Prime Minister: 'I don't feel I'm the best person for the job anymore'

WATCH: Leo Vardkar resigns as Irish PM

GB News
George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 20/03/2024

- 12:09

Updated: 20/03/2024

- 14:07

Varadkar became Ireland's youngest Taoiseach in 2017 at the age of 38

The Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar has announced that he is stepping down before the next general election.

The 45- year-old Taoiseach has also announced that he is immediately resigning as leader of Fine Gael, describing his period leading the country as "the most fulfilling time of my life".

Varadkar became Ireland's youngest Taoiseach in 2017 when he became leader of Fine Gael at the age of 38.

He currently leads the coalition government in Dublin, along with Fianna Fáil and the Greens.

\u200bPrime Minister of Ireland Leo Varadkar

Prime Minister of Ireland Leo Varadkar has announced he will step down


Varadkar told a press conference in Dublin that his decision is "personal and political".

He said: "I am resigning as president and leader effective from today and will resign as Taoiseach as soon as my successor is able to take up that office...[It is time] to pass on the baton to someone else."

The announcement comes ahead of local government and European parliament elections in Ireland in June. The next general election must be held by early spring next year.

Over the last year, 10 Fine Gael TDs have announced their intention to step away from politics at the general election, fuelling speculation of internal discontent within the party.



Varadkar said his decision was "personal and political".


He said: "Most of all I believe the re-election of this three-party government would be the right thing for the future of our country.

"Continuing to take us forward, protecting all that has been achieved and building on it.

"But, after careful consideration and some soul searching, I believe that a new Taoiseach and a new leader will be better placed than me to achieve that, to renew and strengthen the team, to focus our message and policies, to drive implementation.

"And, after seven years in office, I don’t feel I’m the best person for that job anymore."

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar


Today's announcement comes as the announcement comes after a turbulent number of weeks for the Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and Green Party coalition government.

It was resoundingly beaten in two referendums on changes ministers had proposed to the Irish constitution.

The comprehensive defeats were a significant blow to Varadkar and other coalition leaders who had campaigned for ‘yes yes’ votes in the plebiscites.

He said: "I know this will come as a surprise for many but I hope, at least, you will understand my decision. I know that others will cope with the news just fine."

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