Matthews resigns from Fine Gael
on 03/10/2013 13:44:56
The TD for the Dublin South constituency, who only joined the party one month before the 2011 general election, claimed he has was forced into the decision after rebelling against abortion legislation.
Mr Mathews said he would stand for the Dáil a second time at the next election.
He said he been removed from the parliamentary party after voting against the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act and removed from two Oireachtas committees, the finance public expenditure and public policy oversight petitions.
"I just felt that I had been placed in a position by the leadership of the party that led me to the decision, it was as simple as that," he said.
Mr Mathews said that he had been told by the Fine Gael leadership that there is no way back for him.
"I don't sign blank cheques in financial terms and I don't sign things that I feel there might be difficulty with further down the line unless I pre-clear it," he told RTE Radio.
"I would not be signing a blind political loyalty to some areas that might be more important and more core to life and death matters than normal political policy matters. For instance I said life begins at birth."
Mr Mathews sent a text to Taoiseach Enda Kenny last night, announcing his resignation.
In a statement from his office, the TD said his resignation "brings to a conclusion the Fine Gael Party experience for Peter Mathews".
He said he would work on as an Independent, "recognising mutual advantages and opportunities for contributing to and sharing ideas etc. within a flexible and collegial Reform Alliance".
That group is made up of former Fine Gael TDs and Senators who voted against the Government on the abortion legislation.
Others are Lucinda Creighton, Billy Timmins, Terence Flanagan and Denis Naughten along with senators Paul Bradford and Fidelma Healy-Eames.