Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar announces he is stepping down

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar says he will step down as leader of the country soon as a successor is chosen.

Varadkar announced Wednesday he is quitting immediately as head of Fine Gael party, part of Ireland’s coalition government. He’ll be replaced as prime minister after a party leadership contest.

He said his reasons were “both personal and political.”

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar announced he will resign. AFP via Getty Images

Varadkar, 45, has had two spells as taoiseach, or prime minister — between 2017 and 2020, and again since December 2022.

He was the country’s youngest-ever leader when first elected, as well as Ireland’s first openly gay prime minister. Varadkar, whose mother is Irish and father is Indian, was also Ireland’s first biracial taoiseach.

“I’m proud that we have made the country a more equal and more modern place,” he said in a resignation statement in Dublin.

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