Leo Varadkar formally elected as Ireland's new Taoiseach

Caitlin Morrison
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Leo Varadkar has been formally elected as Ireland's new Taoiseach (Prime Minister).

Varadkar was elected by 57 votes to 50 by members of the Irish parliament.

He replaces Enda Kenny, who resigned last month after six years in office.

Fine Gael elected Varadkar, a trained doctor, as its leader in early June.

Much has been made of the fact that Varadkar is openly gay, and the son of an Indian immigrant. He is also Ireland's youngest ever leader, at 38.

After he was chosen as leader of his party, Varadkar said his top priorities as Taoiseach would be to reach an agreement on Brexit, and to hold a referendum on abortion next year. Abortion is still illegal for women in Ireland.

One of Varadkar's first acts will be to meet with DUP leader Arlene Foster to discuss the future of the Northern Ireland Assembly. The meeting in Dublin will take place under intense scrutiny as Foster is currently engaged in talks with Theresa May about a potential deal to help the Tories form a government.

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