Labour MEP for Munster, Phil Prendergast, has dismissed her European Parliament and party colleague Nessa Childers’ comments that there is a risk of a breakaway party forming from within the ranks of the Labour Party.
Speaking from Strasbourg, Clonmel’s Ms Prendergast said - “I think there is no such risk. If we look at the way the party is operating presently we face many difficulties and problems, but none of these would be resolved by the creation of a breakaway party.
“Those who, like myself, are strongly wedded to social democratic values and the preservation of the welfare state wish to be heard by the party leadership and the Cabinet, not to walk away.
“I think initiatives like the Campaign for Labour Policies offer the opportunity to influence the direction of the party from within, in a positive and progressive manner.
“We need to question the limits of economy policy making and work with our colleagues in the European centre-left, to challenge the austerity, pro-finance majority and the constraints it imposes to the provision of public services and welfare in Ireland and elsewhere.
“That task belongs to the Labour party grassroots, within the party. Walking out would only lose us those allies.”
“It’s easy to portray yourself as an outsider, and the electorate may like this, but we need positive change in the party. Abandoning it will not achieve that.”