Social democrat MP fired from “other job”

Social democrat member of parliament Ola Rask has been fired from his job as director of Rönneberga, the conference and training centre for Sweden’s largest federation of unions, LO.

In a press release from the union Byggnads, the board said it had lost confidence in Rask after an investigation revealed that he had not been entirely open about the remuneration and benefits he was receiving.

According to Byggnads, Rask has been using two company credit cards while his employer was only aware of one, has made “a preposterous number” of study trips and has been claiming two pensions. He loses his job with immediate effect.

Speaking to news agency TT on Tuesday, Rask said he was “surprised and disappointed” that the Rönneberga board had made this decision just two months before he was due to retire.

“On the points where failings have been pointed out, I don’t consider there’s any reason to draw such conclusions,” he said.

“Obviously nobody is perfect and I have made one or two mistakes – but the board and auditors ought to have pointed this out earlier because every year the accounts have been approved.”

Later on he told Swedish Radio that the board and accountants bore “at least as much responsibility” for the way Rönneberga’s finances had been run.

In February Dagens Nyheter revealed that as well as his two full salaries – from parliament and the union – Rask had been claiming money from parliament for a car paid for by his other job and had given his children apartments owned by the conference centre and renovated at the expense of the union.

At the time Rask, whose wife and children also had jobs at Rönneberga, said he had done nothing wrong.

It is unclear how the news will affect Rask’s role as a social democrat member of parliament.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Expressen, SR