Two Sligo/Leitrim TDs says Varadkar should step down while investigation is ongoing

Two Sligo/Leitrim TDs are calling for Tanaiste Leo Varadkar to stand down from his position.

It’s as gardai carry out an investigation into Mr Varadkar’s leaking of a government document.

The Garda investigation now taking place concerns a document containing details of a proposed agreement between the State and the Irish Medical Organisation.

When Mr Varadkar was taoiseach, he leaked the document to Dr Maitiú Ó Túathail, of the National Association of General Practitioners, a rival to the IMO.

Dr Tuathail has said that all GPs had a right to the information in the document, which concerned a programme for chronic disease management.

The now-defunct NAGP said it was “wrong for one group of GPs to have access” to the information while others did not.

Mr Varadkar has since apologised for his error in judgement but has insisted he has not committed any offence.

Now, with Gardai having upgraded their inquiries into the leak to a criminal investigation, two Sligo/Leitrim TDs, Sinn Fein’s Martin Kenny and Fianna Fail TD Marc MacSharry, are calling on Mr Varadkar to stand aside for the duration of the investigation.

Deputy MacSharry says the reality is if a minister is the subject of a criminal investigation, prudence demands that they should step aside, albeit temporarily, pending the conclusion of the investigation.

Deputy Kenny, who’s the Sinn Fein spokesperson on Justice, has brought both Fine Gael and Fianna Fail into the controversy, saying Micheal Martin should have sacked Mr Varadkar last November.

However, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe says there’s a Garda process underway and Sinn Féin just want a political head:

Meanwhile, the Tánaiste himself says gardai haven’t been in touch yet and insists he didn’t commit a crime.

He says no public authority or public body has been in touch with him to tell him what he is accused of or the evidence to support it.

Mr Varadkar also says the stance of Sinn Fein and its leader show where their priorities lie.