Ireland's first gay prime minister Leo Varadkar formally elected

The son of an immigrant Indian doctor and Irish nurse was formally elected yesterday as the country's youngest and first gay Taoiseach after securing 57 votes against 50 in the Irish parliament, with some 45 parliamentarians abstaining.

Describing how a young Leo was always interested in politics, his uncle, Avinash Varadkar, told ANI that once when he visited Leo's family in Ireland back in 1998, even then as a child, Leo talked about politics.

When Varadkar announced his bid for leadership of Fine Gael, McHugh said he believed Minister Varadkar would be an outstanding leader of the country who understood issues affecting people right across the State and in particular Donegal.

Paying tribute to Mr Kenny, Mr Varadkar said: "I have no doubt, only for him, this country as we know it would not be here today".

He added Varadkar would meet "head on" the challenge of Brexit, an issue of particular concern to Ireland as it shares the only European Union land border with Britain.

His first official act was to propose suspension of the Dail for four hours while he travelled to Aras an Uachtarain to be officially appointed to the office by President Michael D Higgins. "He represents a modern, diverse and inclusive Ireland and speaks for them like no other, an Ireland in which each person can fulfill their potential and live their dreams", said Kenny, according to the BBC.

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In a press statement, the Head of the School of Medicine, Prof Paul Browne, said: "We are proud of Leo Varadkar and his achievements".

Fine Gael elected Varadkar, a trained doctor, as its leader in early June. During when Ireland became the first country to legalise same-sex marriage in a referendum.

In 2015, Varadkar said his sexuality, like his ethnicity, "is not something that defines me".

However it is his policies that will attract more scrutiny at home with opponents warning that the former health, tourism and social protection minister, who first joined the centre-right party aged 17, would nudge it further to the right.

They also discussed the ongoing political discussions in London and in Belfast, agreeing on the need to have the Northern Ireland Executive up and running as quickly as possible, and they discussed Brexit.

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