RTÉ's economics editor George Lee is to seek the Fine Gael nomination for the Dublin South by-election.

Speaking on RTÉ radio's News at One, Mr Lee said he had been actively considering putting his name forward since the supplementary budget in April.

He also dismissed suggestions that he had engaged in any anti-Government bias while he was considering the move, and said he had reported accurately and fairly in RTÉ. The seat in Dublin South was left vacant by the death of former Fianna Fail TD Seamus Brennan.

On RTÉ radio, Mr Lee accused the Government of catastrophic economic management and said it was time for people like him to get off the fence and see if they could make a difference. He said he was paying a big price in leaving RTÉ, but that it was not one he was paying to sit on the back benches. He said he wanted to ensure the country got better government than it was getting at present.

'Throughout the past 17 years I have been employed by RTÉ where I have been Economics Editor for most of that time. It has been a huge privilege and an honour to have performed this role,' Mr Lee said in a statement.

'Through news reports and current affairs documentaries and analysis on both television and radio I have spoken directly and impartially to people as clearly as I could. Always I have done my best to keep the public fully informed and up to date about the economy,' he added.