Labour’s agri spokesperson will not contest next election

It has been revealed this morning that The Labour Party’s agriculture spokesperson, Willie Penrose, has decided not to contest the next general election.

Representing the Longford-Westmeath constituency, Penrose also holds the position of chairperson of the parliamentary party.

Deputy Penrose was first elected to the Dail in November, 1992; prior to his election, The Labour Party had not had a seat in Westmeath since 1927.

He also previously served on Westmeath County Council.

Commenting on today’s announcement, the leader of The Labour Party, Brendan Howlin, said: “Today a stalwart of Labour has announced he is not contesting the next election.

The people of Longford-Westmeath and the people of Ireland owe Willie Penrose a debt of gratitude for his integrity, commitment and passion in advancing the rights of working people.

Deputy Penrose also currently holds a position on the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

During yesterday’s consultative conference on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) – which was organised by the Department of Agriculture – in Newbridge, Co. Kildare – deputy Penrose called for a fairer distribution of direct payments to a small and medium-sized farmers.

He also believes that CAP reform could play a significant role in terms of generational renewal and that the Early Retirement Scheme should be reintroduced in Ireland.