Bannon rebuffs election talk

Local Fine Gael representatives Cllr Paul Ross, James Bannon TD, and Cllr Colm Murray join Minister  of State at the Department of Finance, Simon Harris TD, during his visit to Longford last week, which included stop-offs in Granard, Kenagh, Lanesboro, and Newtowncashel. Photo: Michelle Ghee. www.gphotos.ie
Fine Gael TD James Bannon has dismissed any misconceptions over his future amid claims some sitting TDs were being urged to step aside ahead of the next general election.

Fine Gael TD James Bannon has dismissed any misconceptions over his future amid claims some sitting TDs were being urged to step aside ahead of the next general election.

The Legan TD’s staunch insistence over his own political future came in the face of renewed speculation this week of an earlier than expected general election.

As it stands, the current Fine Gael/Labour Coalition have until the Spring of 2016 before they are constitutionally obliged to go to the polls.

But a combination of continually poor opinion poll results and ongoing concerns over the water charges debacle has led to talk that the Government might not survive its full term.

The same uncertainty has been directed at candidate selection with question marks hanging over a number of sitting TDs.

The word ‘retirement’, though, was a topic Mr Bannon was keen to dispel.

“Of course I am going forward (for selection at the party’s Convention).

“I love politics and I love what I do, helping people and engaging people on a daily basis,” he said.

Mr Bannon admitted he would like to see party officials hold its Longford/Westmeath Convention “sooner rather than later”, but played down speculation of a snap election next year.

“In any democratic state, people give you a mandate and I think we (Fine Gael) should respect that,” he insisted.

“We have a job to do and I believe we should get on with that job.”