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Erik Almqvist: Sweden Democrats MP Quits After Racist Scandal

Sweden Democrat Erik Almqvist

The SD’s popularity is still hovering around 10%.

Sweden Democrats MP quits after racist scandal

A Swedish lawmaker once seen as a future leader of the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats party announced Sunday he was quitting parliament and the party after a racist scandal.

Erik Almqvist, 31, was one of three party officials caught on film hurling racist abuse at two men, arming themselves with iron bars after a heated argument outside a fast-food restaurant, and calling a woman who tried to intervene a little “whore”.

“No, this is not your country, it’s my country,” Almqvist is seen telling one of the men in the clip.

Almqvist, who had been the party’s economic affairs spokesman, stepped down from that position in mid-November when theExpressen newspaper published excerpts of the two-year-old video clip, filmed by the party’s justice spokesman Kent Ekeroth on his cell phone.

On Sunday Almqvist said he was leaving the party immediately and would resign from his seat in parliament once it reconvened after the Christmas break. He will be replaced in parliament by Anna Hagwall, 59, the Sweden Democrats said.

“This has been an incredibly difficult and weighty decision for me. I realise that my behaviour that night two-and-a-half years ago has hurt both the party and me as a politician,” Almqvist said in a statement on Sunday. “I have decided, after consultation with the party, to resign from both parliament and the party,” he said.

Ekeroth meanwhile announced after the film clip emerged in November that he was taking a temporary break from his position as justice spokesman, but he remains a member of parliament.

Sweden Democrats leader Jimmie Aakesson recently announced a purge of racist and “extremist” elements in the party.

Recent polls have suggested that the party has been unharmed by the scandal, with its support hovering around 10 percent. The party entered Sweden’s parliament in 2010 after winning 5.7 percent of the vote.

AFP, 30 December 2012

Update:  See “‘You won’t get rid of me’: Almqvist”, The Local, 31 December 2012

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  • Leftwing_Muslim_Alliance

    Homophobia occurs all over the world unfortunetly and I hope the police catch and prosecute anyone Muslim or not who is guilty of such violence.
    As for the Tower Hamlets Council the internal machinations of the Labour party and the liberal council members would come as no surprise to me as I worked for the council in the 80’s and 90’s. However I would need more than your word for the reason for his removal . I would not trust the councilors of either party to run a tap never mind a council in one of the most deprived areas of London
    Sir David

  • Leftwing_Muslim_Alliance

    The media mmm have you read the Daily Mail , the Sun or similar news papers? or even the Daily Star which had a headline -Asylum Seekers ate my Donkey.
    I agree there is demonising but the target is not the one you claim.
    Next you will be telling us it’s all about political correctness

    Sir David

  • botti

    Interesting alliance you are promoting?

    “Tower Hamlets’ gay community has become a particular target of extremists. Homophobic crimes in the borough have risen by 80 per cent since 2007/8, and by 21 per cent over the last year, a period when there was a slight drop in London as a whole.

    Last year, a mob of 30 young Muslims stormed a local gay pub, the George and Dragon, beating and abusing patrons. Many customers of the pub told The Sunday Telegraph that they have been attacked and harassed by local Muslim youths. In 2008 a 20-year-old student, Oli Hemsley, was left permanently paralysed after an attack by a group of young Muslims outside the pub. Only one of his assailants has been caught and jailed.

    Even during meetings of the local council, prominent supporters of Tower Hamlets’ controversial directly-elected mayor, Lutfur Rahman – dropped by the Labour Party for his links to Islamic fundamentalism – have persistently targeted gay councillors with homophobic abuse and intimidation from the public gallery.”

  • botti

    This party will do well because the majority of people seek less immigration. This is the case in virtually every country Pew surveyed.

    It’s the elites in the media and business who demonize opposition and see it as a means to keep wages in check. However, the public have legitimate concerns.

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  • Leftwing_Muslim_Alliance

    So we can see them for the wankers they are, obviously in the full glare of publicity .
    If they hide away in secret , lies flourish in the dark.
    Look what happened when the leader of the BNP went on the BBC question time ( the major UK political discussion programme), he was shown up to be a real prat and he has sunk ever since.
    Sir David

  • eslaporte

    Racist scandal? Surprise, surprise!
    A Europe-wide discussion need to be held as to why these parties are allowed to be on the ballot in the first place.

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  • GaribaldiOfLoonwatch

    Is a purge enough to clean up the SD? Almqvist, I’m sure will still be involved behind the scenes.

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