Labour has suffered a serious blow with the defection of party chairman Colm Keaveney, who voted against the Government’s more contentious budgetary measures, meaning he faces automatic expulsion from the parliamentary party.

He now joins Róisín Shortall, Willie Penrose, Tommy Broughan and Patrick Nulty, all of whom have been similarly expelled.

Tánaiste and Labour leader Eamon Gilmore last night said Mr Keaveney should not continue as party chairman.

“I don’t think it’s tenable for somebody who’s out of the parliamentary Labour party to hold a senior office in the party”, he told RTE news.

Fair enough.

Previously: That Would Explain It So…

Keaveney defection over cuts a major blow to Labour (Harry McGee, Mary Minihan, Irish Times)

(Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland)

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