Calls for resignations over MPs’ abusive chat

29.11.2018 - 15:49
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Oddný Harðardóttir, the parliamentary chair of Samfylkingin (the Social Democrats) says it is not possible to brush aside the slurs made by a handful of male parliamentarians against her party’s MP Albertína Friðbjörg Elíasdóttir.

“They are MPs, former ministers, and I can’t envisage these men carrying on working here at Alþingi--this oldest and highest state institution,” Oddný said. 

The conversation was recorded by anonymous visitors to the bar who were sitting a couple of tables over from the parliamentarians as they chatted loudly. 

In the recording, Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson and Bergþór Ólason say they have their own #MeToo stories with Albertína as a perpetrator. Gunnar Bragi has reportedly apologised for his comments, but Samfylkingin leader Logi Einarsson described the affair as disgusting. 

Vistri grænt framboð (Left Green Movement) parliamentary chair Bjarkey Olsen Gunnarsdóttir told reporters that the recording and revelations surrounding it make her feel sick. “I think the whole parliament is in shock. Somehow, I thought that although workplace culture could differ and all that, I assumed that people didn’t have it in them to go at other people in this manner. This latest reaches such heights that I can’t fathom what’s going on in these people’s heads,” she says. 

Hanna Katrín Friðriksson, parliamentary chair of Viðreisn (the Reform Party), told RÚV she is still digesting the news. “I lack the words,” she said. “One needs time to digest it, I think. I don’t know whether or not we’re back at square one. We lack the tools to deal with this,” Hanna Katrín adds. 

DV and Stundin have, over the past day, been revealing new details from the anonymous recording they were sent. It was recorded at Klaustur bar, next to Alþingi, on 20th November and features offensive conversation between six MPs from Miðflokkurinn (the Centre Party) and Flokkur fólksins (the People’s Party), about other parliamentarians—especially female ones.