Ireland’s new Prime Minister is half-Indian. And openly gay
The former Irish health minister has been named as the leader of the Fine Gael Party
In a country which only saw same-sex marriage legalised in 2015, the Republic of Ireland has just welcomed its first gay politician to become the next taoiseach (prime miniser).
On Friday, 38-year-old Leo Varadkar beat his rival, Housing Minister Simon Coveney, to the post with 60 per cent of the votes to lead the biggest party in the coalition government, Fine Gael, according to the BBC.
On being elected to the position, Varadkar – who is now also the country’s youngest ever leader – said he was ‘honoured’ to accept the ‘enormous challenge’ ahead with humility.
“If my election shows anything it’s that prejudice has no hold in this Republic,” he said. “When my father travelled 5,000 miles to build a new home in Ireland, I doubt he ever dreamed his son would grow up to be its leader,'” he added.
Mr Varadkar, who came out as gay in the 2015 same-sex marriage referendum, has revealed restoring devolution in Northern Ireland and dealing with Brexit would be his immediate priorities as the country’s new leader.
He has also vowed to hold a referendum on abortion next year and keep taxes to below 50 per cent, according to the publication.
Varadkar’s appointment is a momentous occasion for the country, which only decriminalised homosexuality in 1993. However, the Prime Minister’s appointment isn’t without controversy, given his comments concerning workers’ rights, after threatening to ‘ban’ some public sector workers from striking.
Varadkar will succeed Enda Kenny as leader of the centre-right party after 15 years in office within weeks.
Change is happening, people.
From: Elle UK