PM congratulates Leo Varadkar on assuming office as Taoiseach of Ireland

Leo Varadkar, the right-wing son of an immigrant Indian doctor, is set to be confirmed as Ireland's youngest and first gay premier during a vote in Dublin's parliament.

Varadkar was elected by 57 votes to 50 by members of the Irish parliament. He added, "The government that I lead will not be one of left or right because those old divisions don't comprehend the political challenges of today".

He signed the visitor's book and went into a brief private meeting with President Michael D Higgins before making his way to collect his seal of office.

Describing how a young Leo was always interested in politics, his uncle, Avinash Varadkar, told ANI that once when he visited Leo's family in Ireland back in 1998, even then as a child, Leo talked about politics.

Leo Varadkar will now take over from Enda Kenny, who previously served as the Irish Prime Minister (Taoiseach) until he announced his retirement in May.

One of Mr Varadkar's first official contacts as leader will be with Mrs May to pass on the sympathies of the Irish people following the London tower block fire.

The administration is propped up by Fine Gael's ancient rivals Fianna Fail as part of a supply and confidence arrangement after an unprecedented schism in the electorate.


"It is striking that the strong support which this record won him in his parliamentary party was not reflected in the much broader membership of Fine Gael."

"I don't think we could get the former Taoiseach to stretch that far", he said. The election was necessitated after the incumbent Taoiseach Enda Kenny, resigned in May.

Shortly before the 2015 same-sex marriage referendum in Ireland he came out as gay during an interview with Irish broadcaster RTE. I'm not a half-Indian politician, or a doctor politician or a gay politician for that matter.

Varadkar isn't new to Ireland's political scene, despite now being the youngest prime minister.

"Leadership should never be about just one person", he said.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross is also believed to have met with Varadkar.

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