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There will be no return for Phil Hogan to Fine Gael at any level – Varadkar

Tánaiste Leo Varadkarhas made it clear that Phil Hogan, who resigned as EU commissioner in the wake of a breach of Covid-19 policies, there will be no early return to Fine Gael at any level.

While it is thought that Phil Hogan played a key role in leading Varadkar, he criticised Hogan harshly, rather than saying a word of thanks at the party meeting.

A source said the Tánaiste had made it clear that he did not believe in any of the first three explanations from the former EU commissioner.

Another source added that, while everyone at the party meeting thanked Hogan for his belated resignation, Leo seemed to ignore it.

A source said it was when Lowry, the former chairman of the Fine Gay party, resigned from the ministry after some controversy that he last saw such a view before. Ironically, it was Hogan who spoke out against Lowry on that occasion, he added.

Meanwhile, a senior Fine Gael TD said Leo had made it clear that Hogan would never make a comeback and that he is in the history books.

It is learned that Leo was strongly backed by the Minister of Higher Education, Simon Harris.

When referring to Hogan’s late resignation, Varadkar praised the speed of resignation of his three senators, Jerry Buttimer, Paddy Burke and John Cummins.

It is believed Varadkar favours replacing him with Seán Kyne. If so, Kyne will be challenged by veteran Senator Joe O’Reilly and Cork senator and strong Coveney supporter Tim Lombard.

Even if Kyne is chosen, Mr. Varadkar will be controlling all aspects of the party, so it will be interesting to see how the other two fare, a source said.

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