Fine Gael MEP Mairead McGuinness has confirmed that she is running for the Presidency of the European Parliament to Europarl Radio.

Currently a Vice-President of the Parliament, the Midlands North-West MEP is a member of the European People’s Party Group, the EPP.

Members of the EPP will decide next month what candidate they want to campaign for the Parliament’s top job.

The current President of the Parliament Martin Schultz, is considering running for a third term. However, Mairead McGuinness has said she’s glad to be competing for the job.

I’m pleased to say that I have decided to formally put my name forward as a candidate for our group, the EPP.

“The decision will not be taken by our group until December and then in January we vote as a plenary for who is to be the President of the House.

“It’s early days but at least the race is on and I’m very pleased to be one of those being considered as the candidate for our group.”

McGuinness is a member of the European Parliament’s Agriculture and Rural Development Committee and the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee.

She was lead negotiator for the EPP group, the largest political grouping in the Parliament, on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (Pillar I).

She also authored a major report for the Parliament on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy and global food security and has worked on unfair trading practices in the food supply chain. In 2011, she was voted MEP of the Year for Agriculture in 2011.