Updated: 16/02/17 : 06:15:13
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Coveney and Varadkar call for General Election preparations from next week

The first moves to replace Enda Kenny as Fine Gael leader were launched last night, hours before the Government won a vote of confidence in itself.

Ministers Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar called for the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party to begin preparations as early as next week for a General Election in the wake of the Garda whistleblower scandal.

Hours later the Government won a motion of confidence in itself by 57 to 52 with Fianna Fáil abstaining.

Government Ministers attacked Sinn Féin for the motion of no confidence with Simon Coveney saying they are getting on with the job of government.

He said: "What we will focus on is solving significant problems with solutions, solutions that can put a just solution in place for people like Maurice McCabe.

"The Tánaiste and the Taoiseach are determined to do that this week and instead of actually finalising the terms of reference for a tribunal of inquiry that we want to put into place without any further delay, we are in here talking about a nonsensical motion."