Leo Varadkar "apologises for error of judgement" over GP contract controversy
"No fair minded person will question my motivation or integrity."
Leo Varadkar has apologised for an "error of judgement" in relation to the controversy over the alleged leaking of a confidential document in relation to a contract for general practitioners (GPs) in Ireland.
Varadkar made a statement to the Dáil on Tuesday evening following the publication of an article in Village magazine at the weekend, which alleged that Varadkar passed on a "confidential" agreement with the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) to Doctor Maitiú Ó Tuathail, who was the head of the National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP), last year, when Varadkar was Taoiseach.
In the statement, the Tánaiste Varadkar refuted suggestions that his engagements with Ó Tuathail were improper or illegal, and said that he is far from a "cheerleader" of his.
Varadkar then listed a number of times where Ó Tuathail publicly spoke out against the Fine Gael leader, specifically one where Ó Tuathail described the government moving people from medical cards to GP passes as "the biggest con job in the history of the health service".
He then implied that Ó Tuathail had been exaggerating about the relationship that he and Varadkar had, implying that he was overstating his influence.
Varadkar went on to apologise for his "error of judgement", saying: "No fair minded person will question my motivation or integrity. It was an error, and one I take sole responsibility for. I do regret it, I am sorry for the controversy that has been caused."
He then said that there was nothing illegal about what he did, nor was there anything corrupt, selfish or dishonest in his actions.
You can see Varadkar's speech in full here:
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar addressing Dáil Eireann about the GP contract controversy https://t.co/z70DUmtcdD
— JOE.ie (@JOEdotie) November 3, 2020