Irish Labour party's Burton claims victory in leadership race

DUBLIN Fri Jul 4, 2014 10:32am EDT

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DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland's social protection minister, Joan Burton, claimed victory in the leadership contest for the junior government Labour party on Friday after her opponent, junior minister Alex White, conceded defeat.

Burton, the party's deputy leader, takes over from deputy prime minister Eamon Gilmore who resigned in May after Labour were punished by voters at local polls for an austerity program that has put the country's finances back on track.

"Alex White phoned me a while ago to wish me well. I'm delighted at the trust that people have placed in me," Burton told reporters ahead of the formal deceleration.

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Alison Williams)

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