EU trade chief Hogan to resign over Irish golf dinner furore

DUBLIN (Reuters) - European Union Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan will resign later on Wednesday over alleged breaches of COVID-19 guidelines during a trip to his native Ireland, a spokesman for the commissioner said. Hogan attended a golf dinner last week that outraged the Irish public and led to the resignation of an Irish minister and the disciplining of several lawmakers. He had insisted on Tuesday he had adhered to all rules during the trip.

Reuters August 27, 2020 01:11:10 IST
EU trade chief Hogan to resign over Irish golf dinner furore

EU trade chief Hogan to resign over Irish golf dinner furore

DUBLIN (Reuters) - European Union Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan will resign later on Wednesday over alleged breaches of COVID-19 guidelines during a trip to his native Ireland, a spokesman for the commissioner said.

Hogan attended a golf dinner last week that outraged the Irish public and led to the resignation of an Irish minister and the disciplining of several lawmakers. He had insisted on Tuesday he had adhered to all rules during the trip.

The commissioner, who oversees trade policy for the world's biggest trading bloc, apologised three times for attending the event with some 80 others. But he came under pressure when it became clear he had not completed 14 days of self-isolation in line with the rules for incoming travellers to Ireland.

Hogan was asked to provide a detailed account of his 20-day trip by the EU's chief executive Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday, which included three visits to the county of Kildare, two made, he said, to collect essential trade documents and his passport even though it was in a local lockdown.

Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin and his deputy Leo Varadkar, leader of the Fine Gael party for whom Hogan served as a minister, said on Tuesday there were clear breaches of COVID-19 public health guidelines during Hogan's trip.

Hogan's resignation, less than a year into his term in trade and six years after he was appointed Agriculture Commissioner, means Ireland will have to nominate a new representative to the commission. It may not retain the same brief if von der Leyen opts to reshuffle her team.

(Reporting by Graham Fahy and Padraic Halpin; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Angus MacSwan)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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