Europe

New Irish PM in weeks after Enda Kenny retires as Fine Gael leader

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has confirmed he is going to step down as the leader of the Fine Gael party, paving the way for Ireland to have a new head of government.

The Taoiseach's decision paves the way for Ireland to have a new head of government.

Mr Kenny will continue to perform his duties as Fine Gael leader in an acting capacity until a successor is appointed on 2 June.

"I would like to stress the huge honour and privilege that it has been for me to lead our party for the past 15 years, in opposition and into Government on two successive occasions," Mr Kenny said.

The veteran politician's resignation follows more than six years at the head of government.

Mr Kenny initially revealed his plans to stand down last year, when he said he would not lead Fine Gael into the next general election.

Sky's Ireland Correspondent, David Blevins, said: "Real challenges await his successor. Whoever takes over from Enda Kenny will be the person who has to protect Irish interests during the very delicate Brexit negotiations."

Fine Gael's chairman, Martin Heydon, described Mr Kenny as a "compassionate, pragmatic and inclusive" leader.

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