DUBLIN, March 20 — Leo Varadkar will step down as Ireland’s prime minister and the leader of the governing Fine Gael party in a surprise move, Irish media reported today.

He will hold a press conference at 1200 GMT (8pm Malaysian time) today, the government said.

Varadkar’s departure as head of the three-party coalition does not automatically trigger a general election and he could be replaced by a new Fine Gael leader.

Varadkar in 2017 became the first gay prime minister of the once-staunchly Catholic country and the youngest person to hold the office. He returned to the premiership in 2022. — Reuters