EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan asked to produce full report on golf event

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen also wants him to publish the timeline of his movements in Ireland over recent weeks.

Phil Hogan
Phil Hogan

The head of the European Commission expects a full report from Phil Hogan on his attendance at a controversial golf dinner in Ireland, according to a spokeswoman.

Commission president Ursula von der Leyen also wants the EU Trade Commissioner to publish the timeline of his movements in Ireland over recent weeks.

Pressure has been building on Mr Hogan to step down from his EU role after he attended last week’s function with more than 80 people present.

Large social gatherings are discouraged in the country during the pandemic.

Mr Hogan is a senior Irish politician with significant standing in Brussels who would be deeply involved in any deal with Britain after Brexit.

European Commission spokeswoman Dana Spinant said on Tuesday that it is “premature to discuss” any sanctions Mr Hogan might face.

She said she is “confident” that he will “make himself available” to discuss his actions.

She also said that Ms von der Leyen “wishes to understand not just the moves, but the circumstances in which those took place” because it is difficult for Brussels to know the rules in each county of Ireland.

“What is important for the president is that the matter is clarified in the public domain with the right level of details, and that transparency is ensured about this matter,” Ms Spinant said.

Mr Hogan has already provided an initial report of his actions but has been asked to give further details about his movements in Ireland.

He has been told to produce a report and timeline of his movements within hours as he battles to save his job.

Mr Spinant told reporters that Ms von der Leyen expects a “detailed report” from Mr Hogan by 2pm Brussels time on Tuesday.

“The president also encourages Commissioner Hogan to publish the timeline of his moves in Ireland during the period that he stayed there to ensure full transparency,” she added.

Police are investigating whether coronavirus regulations were broken in holding the Irish Parliament’s golf society event two days after the Government announced it intended to curb the numbers permitted to gather together.

The trade and former agriculture commissioner has also been urged to consider his position by the leaders of Ireland’s coalition Government, Micheal Martin and Leo Varadkar, after attending the dinner at a hotel in the west of Ireland.

Taoiseach Mr Martin said Mr Hogan should make a comprehensive statement to the Irish public.

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