Leo Varadkar does not rule out possibility of early general election

Irish premier Leo Varadkar said he has not ruled out the possibility of an early general election.

The Taoiseach added that it will happen when it is the “best time for the country”.

Speaking at the European election count centre in Dublin, Mr Varadkar said there are a number of factors at play including Brexit.

He added: “There’s our plan for rural Ireland particularly in relation to broadband, getting budget through and of course the fact there will be by-elections within six months so that could change the composition of it all so all those things have to be taken into account.

“I’m also very aware that the ending of this Dail may not be my decision, Fianna Fail could pull the plug in government at any time if they chose to and also others could too.

“I’ve been asked questions about when the Dail’s going to be dissolved for nearly two years now. At some point someone is going to have to believe me.

“My focus is on delivering so I’m getting the job done, keeping the economy strong, making sure people have jobs to go to, that their incomes rise, that we get more delivery in housing and health care, that we implement our climate action plan as well.”

Asked whether he would go into a coalition with the Green Party, Mr Varadkar said: “I’m in a coalition already with independents and independent ministers, it’s lasted much longer than I think most people believed, including myself.

“We have got more done than a lot of people give us credit for and I think it would be really inappropriate for me to be looking around at the wall for a new dancing partner when we already have one.

“It’s all about making sure that we’ve a functioning government so as long as the government can function and function well and we can get our job done and get our agenda through then there’s no need for an election but if that becomes a problem then obviously that changes that.”