Leo Varadkar has announced that he will resign as Taoiseach and leader of Fine Gael.

Varadkar will remain as Taoiseach until his successor is selected in mid-April when a vote will take place in the Dáil.

Under the programme for Government, the new leader of Fine Gael will become Taoiseach when chosen by the party.

Vardakar confirmed however that he will remain as a constituency TD for Dublin west. He has held the seat since 2007.

Varadkar first assumed the office of Taoiseach in June of 2017.

Having served as a public representative for the last 20 years, Varadkar said on Wednesday that it has been the most fulfilling time of his life.

"My reasons for stepping down now are personal and political, but mainly political.


"I believe this Government can be re-elected. I believe my party, Fine Gael, can gain seats in the next Dáil. Most of all, I believe that would be the right thing for the future of our country, continuing to take us forward. Protecting what we achieved and building on it.

"After careful consideration and some soul-searching, I believe a new Taoiseach will be better-placed than me to achieve that - to renew and strengthen the top team, to refocus our message and policies, and to drive implementation. After seven years in office, I am no longer the best person for that job.

"There are loyal colleagues and good friends contesting the local and European elections and I want to give them the best chance possible. I think they will now have a better chance under a new leader," he said.

Speaking in the courtyard of Government Buildings today, Varadkar said he has had the honour of helping to lead Ireland from unemployment to full employment, from budget deficit to budget surplus, from austerity to prosperity, through a pandemic in which we saved lives and livelihoods, and through Brexit when we prevented a hard border between north and south and protected Ireland's place in Europe.