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Sinn Fein calls for Leo Varadkar to resign over leaked document controversy

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Sinn Fein has called on Leo Varadkar to resign or be sacked after a Garda inquiry into his leaking of a confidential document was upgraded to a criminal probe.

Mary Lou McDonald called the leak of a doctors’ pay agreement by the then-Taoiseach to his friend “an abuse of power” and said “politically this can’t be tolerated”.

The Tanaiste has admitted that in April 2019, while he was Taoiseach, he sent a copy of a doctors’ pay deal between the State and the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) to his friend, Dr Maitiu O Tuathail.

Dr O Tuathail was head of the rival organisation, the National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP), at the time.

Ms McDonald said: “This was a political stroke, pure and simple. It was an abuse of power by the then-Taoiseach designed to give advantage to a friend. This was about doing favours for insiders. Politically this can’t be tolerated.

“The whole matter is now being investigated by the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI) and the Gardai need to be allowed to do their job.

“However our position remains as it was in November. The Fine Gael leader needs to go.”

Mr Varadkar has apologised for leaking the document, but has denied breaking any laws.

At the weekend it emerged that Gardai examining the case had upgraded their inquiry to a criminal investigation.

The NBCI is examining if there has been a breach of anti-corruption legislation, or the Official Secrets Act.

He has only remained in office because Fianna Fail, the Greens and a number of independents are keeping him there

Ms McDonald said on Monday that Mr Varadkar should have been stood down when the story first broke last November, and that his position remains untenable.

She said: “Last November we tabled a motion of no confidence in the Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar because we believed that he should have been sacked and everything that has happened since then has proven that we were correct.

“He has only remained in office because Fianna Fail, the Greens and a number of independents are keeping him there.

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