19 Jan 2011

Irish PM survives confidence vote

5:08 pm on 19 January 2011

Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen has survived a secret confidence vote on his leadership, securing his position as leader of the Fianna Fail party.

The BBC reports the exact result of the vote is not known but Mr Cowen needed to secure at least 36 of the 71 votes to win.

Mr Cowen told the RTE network he had accepted the resignation of foreign minister Micheal Martin shortly after the ballot.

Mr Martin challenged Mr Cowen on Sunday.

Parliament on 15 December approved an economic bail-out worth 85 billion euros from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Following the vote, Mr Martin said the Taoiseach (Mr Cowen's Irish title) continues to have his full support as head of government.