Election 2011 - Leo Varadkar
Leo Varadkar (born 18 January 1979) is an Irish Fine Gael politician. He is currently a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Dublin West constituency, and is party spokesperson on Communications and Natural Resources.
Varadkar was born in Dublin, the son of an Indian father (a retired GP in Blanchardstown) and an Irish mother. He was educated at King's Hospital School, Palmerstown and Trinity College, Dublin where he qualified as a medical doctor, and was a member of the Young Fine Gael branch, as was fellow 2007 entrant to Dáil Éireann, Lucinda Creighton.
He was co-opted to Fingal County Council in 2003 to replace Sheila Terry. At the 2004 local elections, he was elected to the council to represent the Castleknock local electoral area, polling the highest first preference vote in the country. He is a former vice-president of the Youth of the European People's Party and an alumnus of the Washington Ireland Program. He was elected to Dáil Éireann at the 2007 general election. He was party spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Employment from 2007–2010.
Varadkar was accused of being a racist for suggesting to offer a payment to unemployed immigrants in return for leaving Ireland and returning to their home country. He denied that he was scapegoating Africans.
In March 2010, members of his own party criticised Varadkar after he compared Taoiseach Brian Cowen, with former Fine Gael leader Garret FitzGerald in that he had tripled the national debt and effectively destroyed the country and the Taoiseach should 'enjoy writing boring articles in The Irish Times' in a few years time - another reference to FitzGerald.
In June 2010, Varadkar and a number of other party frontbenchers stated that they had no confidence in their party leader, Enda Kenny. A subsequent confidence motion in the leader was won. Varadkar was re-appointed to the Front Bench as spokesperson for Communications and Natural Resources.
Unlike many TDs he avoids funerals and does not host political clinics.