Fine Gael deputy leader Richard Bruton is sacked

Image caption, Enda Kenny has sacked his deputy Richard Bruton

The deputy leader of the main opposition party in the Irish Republic has been sacked.

Richard Bruton was dismissed after proposing a motion of no confidence in the party leader Enda Kenny.

An opinion poll last week suggested Labour had overtaken Fine Gael as the most popular party in the Republic.

Last week, Mr Kenny announced his intention to put down a motion of no confidence in the Fianna Fail-Green Party coalition government.

That followed two independent reports which suggested the government's policies contributed to the country's economic problems.

Mr Bruton has also been sacked as Fine Gael's finance spokesman. He is a brother of former taoiseach John Bruton.

Mr Kenny was expected to face a challenge for the party leadership from Mr Bruton when the party's front bench meets on Tuesday morning.

Supporters of Mr Kenny had insisted they had the numbers to defeat a challenge, but backers of Mr Bruton said they believed they could win.

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