BBC News Live: Leo Varadkar Resigns as Taoiseach Due to ‘Personal and Political’ Reasons


Following a referendum defeat on changes to the Irish constitution and a high-profile visit to the White House for St Patrick’s Day, Mr Varadkar has decided to step down. His decision seems to be influenced by the challenges he foresees in the near future. In June, Ireland will hold the European and local elections. In his resignation speech, Mr Varadkar admitted that he believes his party, Fine Gael, would have a better chance with a different leader. His decision also takes into account the upcoming Irish general election, which is due by March next year. Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, the two parties that have been in power since the foundation of the Irish state, will face stiff competition from Sinn Féin. The opposition party, which advocates for the unification of Northern Ireland and the Republic, won the largest share of the popular vote at the last election and has consistently led in recent polls.

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