Indian-origin gay minister Leo Varadkar is possibly the next Prime Minister of Ireland. If elected, he will be the youngest (at the age of 38) Prime Minister to hold the office. Currently, Varadkar is serving as the Minister for Social Protection in Ireland and has campaigned on same-sex marriage and liberalising abortion laws. After Irish PM Enda Kenny resigned as the head of the governing Fine Gael party, Varadkar and Housing Minister Simon Coveney are considered the eligible candidates for the post. Varadkar has now managed to secure the support of 46 out of 73 Fine Gael’s lawmakers. The new leader will be elected on June 2, 2017.
Here everything you need to know about Leo Varadkar:
- Varadkar is the first Irish leader to have Asian connection as his father Ashok is an Indian immigrant born in Mumbai. His father met Varadkar’s mother Miriam, a nurse, in England in the 1970s. The duo later got married and moved to Dublin in Ireland.
- Varadkar graduated in medical science in 2003 and has worked as a junior doctor and was qualified as a general practitioner in 2010.
- He entered Ireland’s political scenario at the age of 20 and secured a seat in the parliament at the age of 27.
- In 2015, at the age of 36, he publicly came out as gay after Ireland became the first country in the world to legalise same sex marriage.
- On January 18, 2015, during a radio interview he for the first time revealed about his sexuality.
- He is the first openly gay cabinet minister of the Ireland.
- He has held several ministerial portfolios including Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport from 2011 to 2014 and Minister for Health 2014 to 2016.