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Top Sweden Democrat quits after racist film

Top Sweden Democrat quits after racist film

Published: 14 Nov 2012 13:23 GMT+01:00
Updated: 14 Nov 2012 13:23 GMT+01:00

Sweden Democrat MP Erik Almqvist will step down as the party's economic policy spokesman over racist statements he made on a film clip and his subsequent denials, party leader Jimmie Åkesson announced on Wednesday.

"I've spoken with Erik Almqvist today and he's accepted leaving his position as our economic policy spokesperson as well as his place in the executive committee," Åkesson told reporters.

"I've also urged him to consider leaving his position in the Riksdag."

Åkesson called the day "the worst day in his political life", emphasizing he thought it was important the party react forcefully to the incident, which follows just weeks after the Sweden Democrat leader unveiled plans to clean up the party's image as a group of "angry young men".

The announcement comes after Swedish tabloid Expressen published a film clip from 2010 which features Almqvist, along with justice policy spokesman and MP Kent Ekeroth, as well as Christian Westling, who sits on the Stockholm city council.

In the clip, Almqvist is heard making racist comments to an inebriated man, using words like “darkie”, “cunt” and “darkie-lover” in connection with a scuffle involving the three prominent Sweden Democrats.

The episode was filmed by Ekeroth - a clip later obtained by Expressen.

Almqvist then proceeded to call a 21-year-old woman who tried to get the three men to stop harassing the drunken a man a “little whore”.

When Expressen confronted Almqvist with allegations about his statements, he denied everything.

But after Expressen published the complete footage of the incident in which Almqvist's statements can be heard clearly, the party leadership called a crisis meeting which resulted in the decision for Almqvist to step down.

"We've seen statements and behaviour which are totally unacceptable," Åkesson said of the film clip, adding that he no longer has confidence in Almqvist

Åkesson added that Ekeroth will keep his leadership positions within the party for the time being, but hinted the party may review Ekeroth's place in the Sweden Democrats in the future.

He also said that Almqvist's future as a member of the party was also in question, but that the issue would be decided later.

At his own press conference later on Wednesday, Almqvist said it was "the worst day of my life".

"I'm incredibly regretful. I'm going to take a step back," he told reporters.

While explaining that he has agreed to abandon all of his leadership posts within the party, Almqvist said he wasn't going to leave the party or give up his seat in the Riksdag.

"I am a Sweden Democrat," he proclaimed.

"I have no ambition to be a political independent."

In explaining the incident caught on film, Almqvist said he was "very drunk" at the time. He claimed he had hazy memories of the confrontation and that he has never seen the clip in its entirety.

"I wasn't doing very well at the time," he said, admitting that he had been drinking too much for months prior to the incident.

"I had a lot of anger inside me. I'd been subjected to violence and had my home trashed. I lost it in my drunken state."

He described his behaviour in the film as "stupid" and "drunkenness" and admitted that the statements he made could be described as racist, although they weren't intended to be so.

Almqvist also claimed that he "never lied" to reporters about the incident, defending his previous denials by explaining he didn't remember the incident and hadn't seen the footage.

"If I'd known of the film I would have known what was there and then I wouldn't have responded to questions about the film as I did," he told reporters.

Despite Almavist's intention to stay in the Riksdag, University of Gothenburg political scientist Johan Martinsson doubted the Sweden Democrat could remain an MP.

"If the film is right, it's going to be very hard for him to remain in the Riksdag," he told TT prior to the press conferences with Åkesson and Almqvist.

"It's enough with the line 'that little whore'. But denying it makes it even worse."

TT/The Local/dl

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Your comments about this article

12:11 November 14, 2012 by Jes
I can`t get why SD is getting rid of this "nationalist" . This wonderful party is based on the notion of racism . The man only did what the SD stands for .

If SD abandons rarcism ( which is the only reason for its surge ) then it will be like the Nazi witjhout gas .
12:16 November 14, 2012 by Flutterbye
This PC crap is getting beyond stupid....won't be long before we will have to sew our mouths up so we can't speak.
12:55 November 14, 2012 by robban70226
The reality of the Swedish people, Don't let them fool you with BS talk about integration, They are rascist people and will never acept foreigners in their heart,

Cowards like always pretending and showing a false smile. Shame of them
13:09 November 14, 2012 by spongepaddy
Arrogant little thug. I hope his life goes to hell after this. Or maybe he'll just become a real-estate agent.
13:29 November 14, 2012 by user655321
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
13:36 November 14, 2012 by axiom
@ #2

What PC crap, at which level is it appropriate to call a woman "a little whore" being pc or otherwise.

Would you ever look at any of your female relatives and call her "a little whore" - give it a shot and feedback with the response, providing you still have the capacity so to do.
14:06 November 14, 2012 by Justin O'Pinion
Strange, I figured he'd be wearing a brown shirt.
14:39 November 14, 2012 by djmarko
An SD member called someone a racist term and everyone is shocked!! i thought thats what that party was all about, where do they pick those riff raffs from to represent them?? since they got to the parliament, their members keep on getting exposed for who they truly are and what their party stands for, many have left the party, some simply fled when they found out they have to do a day's job, some got caught fighting guards outside clubs, some did not even have a clue what been an MP was all about, guess they thought it was getting free tax payers money, getting a free flat in gamlastan, by the look of things, seems they will soon be without MPs, simply trash!!!
15:15 November 14, 2012 by Svensksmith
If those words are banned, rap music will cease to exist.
15:57 November 14, 2012 by what would thomas paine do
Doesn't change the fact that sick people are martyred in order to fund the State's ethic vision for society.
16:21 November 14, 2012 by Prat
Almqvist and his buddies show to all of Sweden: you can dress up a thug, but they remain nasty at heart. Flash suits and shaved heads ganging up on single townspeople... assault & battery, harassing a woman, mean people.

With this lot, boorishness & dangerousness can quickly become deadly. I hope no Sweden Democrat moves into my neighborhood.
17:11 November 14, 2012 by what would thomas paine do
#10 should read "ethnic" not "ethic"
17:31 November 14, 2012 by Spuds MacKenzie
Let me get this straight: if a politician calls someone a name, they must resign. But if a politician allows 50,000 uneducated refugees into the country every year (despite an ever shrinking job market), they get re-elected.

Now I understand how Swedish politics works!
18:02 November 14, 2012 by towns
His comments were out of line from what most people expect politicians to say (like PC salesman BS). Still though, I'm a little rattled there isn't this much outrage at Carl Bildt overall. Sure, he didn't call anyone an inappropriate name to their face, he just, you know, participated in war crimes.

Kind of telling when a society cares more about what some local politician from a non-ruling political party has to say than what the Foreign Minister and former Prime Minister has been involved in.

And no, I'm not trying to "deflect" from the topic since I'm not an SD supporter.
20:00 November 14, 2012 by skatty
I watched the film, interesting; the best part is about whose country is Sweden?!

Actually the argument about whose country is Sweden can be considered the fundamental paradox in Swedish society in relation with immigrants (I mean immigrants and refugees).

In one hand there is systematic process to convince immigrants that Sweden is their country (by different institutions, form language to medias), in another hand there is an obvious fact that Swedes neither have the capacity nor the ability or the mentality to accept immigrants as a member of their society (an this story is not about just the first generation immigrants, it's about second generation as well).

I believe that immigration to Sweden is fundamentally meaningless base on this paradox (you will never be considered part of the society (no matter what social class you belong, or what country you come west or east).

If you somehow ended up in Sweden for some reasons, try to get out of it as soon as possible, before it becomes too late ( unfortunately, mostly realize their mistake when it is too late!)
22:06 November 14, 2012 by EmployedProfessional
Again, these SD animals that own the streets at night should be offered a nice cold island on which to enjoy their interpratation of swedishness.

I'm sure most normal folks that don't share their views would be happy to sign a clause when we next vote to never visit the place!

Funny thought,

Even the racists in the USA often never f&%#ked up this badly,at least we see these drunken B&%%#¤ds for what the really are,be thankfull for their "race" being so obvious to the rest of society!

Let's have some fun watching these real animals falling one- by-one at their own hands! Dig a trentch or the king can buy them a cold-a## island!
22:42 November 14, 2012 by djmarko
Just a bunch of hopeless thugs in suits!!! how many SD MPs have quit since they got into the parliament, i hope they watched Zlatan tonight to see what positives can be got out of immigration.

I give them another year or 2, they will be extinct, they will continue to get caught out for what they truly stand for
22:57 November 14, 2012 by EmployedProfessional
Zlatan is no immigrant by American standards,he IS the reinvention of Sweden,by most all standards as is Noreen!

By the way...

Has anyone noticed how UGLY these SD dudes are?

Look at them!!!
23:16 November 14, 2012 by djmarko
yes in the US Zlatan will be an American first before anything else! cant stand hypocrites, you will be respected more if you come and show your true colors rather than wear suits and try and be politically correct, then getting caught every other month, just pathetic sad people really!!
01:17 November 15, 2012 by racistreport.org
Please visit www.racistreport.org and report your case on racism. With your help we can uncover the true impact of racism on humanity. If you have been subjected to any form of discrimination because of your skin colour, race, sexual orientation, religion, culture or ethnicity please share your story with the World and get help.

www.racistreport.org -- Global Movement Against Racism!!!
06:37 November 15, 2012 by Skåne-American
Looks like one of Jimmie Åkesson's polished turds just lost its sheen.
09:42 November 15, 2012 by djmarko
sure its Jimmie Akesson turn soon enough, a video will emerge with him playing with dolls then he will have to quite the party, just kidding though, Maybe he cam explain to Swedish people where he picked all these riff raffs from!!
09:59 November 15, 2012 by Emerentia
To call a woman a whore, just because she is a woman, is not just sexist, vulgar and rude, it's also totally illogical, since there are a lot more men than women who are prostitutes.

http://www.thelocal.se/44386/20121113/
16:46 November 15, 2012 by Spuds MacKenzie
Sweden has gone PC mad! I've been called every name in the book at one time or another in my life, yet I didn't go crying to the media about it!

What Swedes should be upset about is the continued "honor killings" (as reported here in The Local this week), and the rising unemployment rate.
16:03 November 16, 2012 by ramazama
Skatty , 100% right , bunch of xenobhobic / racists with bird brains !
16:36 November 16, 2012 by rise
I was born with xenophobia. You were born with xenophobia. I do not care. Maybe you care, maybe you don't. At least I am honest about it. If you don't have the guts to be honest among other people, at least be honest to yourself.
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