Gormley 'freaked out' -- Varadkar
FINE Gael's Leo Varadkar suspects that the all-party consensus talks were a panic move by Green Party leader John Gormley.
"John Gormley saw the real [Budget deficit] figures a few weeks ago and freaked out," Mr Varadkar feels.
He adds that he is "p***ed off" with Taoiseach Brian Cowen and Finance Minister Brian Lenihan because they knew "full well" the extent of the bank bailout "months ago".
Mr Varadkar believes welfare cuts are "on the table" and the Government wants "to salami-slice the rates".
In a frank interview with the Herald's Andrew Lynch, Mr Varadkar said the Croke Park agreement on public service reform may now have to be ditched.
The outspoken Dublin West TD also admits to being "bruised" and "badly burned" by the failed heave against party leader Enda Kenny.
Speaking about June's Fine Gael leadership battle, he said he thought the anti-Kenny faction had "the numbers" to win.
"But obviously some people pretended to be on both sides," he added.
The outspoken Dublin West TD also reveals his ambition to one day become Taoiseach.
The Dublin representative, who is a doctor by profession, said: "Do I see myself as a future Taoiseach? Yes, is the short answer. But I might not be the kind of person who gets that position, because I rub some people up the wrong way."
In the meantime, Mr Varadkar says he is "dusting off" his posters in anticipation of a general election next year.