Leo Varadkar will be the next Prime Minister of Ireland

Leo Varadkar is set to become the next Prime Minister of Ireland after his party Fine Gael elected him to be the successor to Edna Kenny.

Varadkar will be Ireland’s first Prime Minister who is gay, and the fourth head of state who is known to be same sex attracted.

As political commentators had predicted, Varadkar out-polled ministerial colleague Simon Coveney for the leadership position. The party will be hoping the Varadkar can lead them to a third term in government.

“If my election today shows anything, it is that prejudice has no hold in this Republic,” Varadkar said following the announcement of his success.

The new leader said he doubted his father, who emigrated to Ireland from India, would have thought his son would become the leader of the nation.

“I know when my father travelled 5,000 miles to build a new home in Ireland, I doubt that he ever dreamed that one day his son would grow up to be its leader and despite his differences, his son would be judged by his actions not his identity.

“Every proud parent in Ireland today can dream big dreams for their children.”

Varadkar’s election to the the leadership position has been seen as a sign of Ireland’s rapidly changing social attitudes. The country only decriminalised homosexuality in 1993, and made history in 2015 when they embraced marriage equality by a public vote.

Currently Luxembourg’s Xavier Bettel is the only gay head of state. Former heads of state’s who have been gay include Iceland’s former Prime Minister Johanna Siguroardottir and Belgium’s Elio Di Rupo.

OIP Staff

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