Senator Paul Bradford has said TDs and Senators who were recently expelled from the Fine Gael parliamentary party are seeking to form a new political grouping with speaking rights in the two houses of the Oireachtas.

Five TDs and two Senators lost the party whip over their stance on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill. 

TD Denis Naughten, who lost the whip over the Roscommon County Hospital issue, is also part of the group.

Government Chief Whip and Minister of State Paul Keogh has said the Government has no plans to amend the rules of the Dáil to allow for the formation of a second Technical Group.

However, speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr Bradford said that the Dáil and not the Government would decide whether the group could be afforded Technical Group status.

Mr Bradford said that there are technical obstacles to the TDs joining the existing Technical Group in the Dáil.

He added that the eight former Fine Gael politicians are more ideologically compatible.

Mr Bradford said he hoped the Government would not prevent the group contributing to political debate,

He said: "I would hope that at a time when the Government is talking about political reform, and the Government also wishes to shut down one house of democracy, namely the Seanad, that it wouldn't shut down parliamentarians and that it wouldn't stop people from speaking and contributing."