Former Fine Gael TD Peter Fitzpatrick has said that he held a 45-minute meeting with the Taoiseach this afternoon.

The Louth TD, who quit the party last night, said the meeting was focused on the upcoming Budget votes.

Mr Fitzpatrick said he told Leo Varadkar that he would like to support the Budget but must get some issues addressed in his constituency first.

He said that he would now consult with his supporters in Louth and report back to Mr Varadkar before the end of the week.

A spokesperson for the Taoiseach said it was a good meeting. 

"No bad feelings. The Taoiseach hopes Deputy Fitzpatrick will continue to support the Government as an independent for the foreseeable future," they said.

Earlier today, Mr Fitzpatrick said it was a hard decision to quit the party but he felt as though no one was listening to him and he was "only there to push a button".

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Sean O'Rourke, he said he feels that the middle class is being "squeezed" and that Fine Gael has become "style over substance".

Mr Fitzpatrick says he told Mr Varadkar that he would continue to support Fine Gael, so long as he felt it was right.

The TD announced his resignation from the party last night, stating that he intends to run in the next general election as an independent candidate.

The departure of Mr Fitzpatrick reduces the minority Government’s already slim numbers in the Dáil, just one week before the Budget.

In a statement, he said that over the last 15 months his views had not been listened to and he felt isolated within Fine Gael.

He was strongly opposed to repealing the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, which was backed by senior figures within Fine Gael.