Centre politician quits after immigrant comments

A Centre Party politician has stepped down after saying that immigrants accused of crimes should get a “kick in the butt” and leave the country.

Ingemar Pettersson, who was standing in September’s local election in Landskrona, is bowing out even before voting takes place because of an unpublished article in a local newspaper.

Pettersson talked about energy policy, immigration, and crime. He is reported to have said foreign citizens who commit crimes should be deported before trial.

“It’s just a kick in the butt and out with them,” he said in the interview, according to Svenska Dagbladet.

Pettersson was interviewed on Tuesday for an article that would be published closer toward election time at the end of summer. On Thursday the Centre Party’s lead candidate for the district said he was leaving politics because he said the interview if published would make his situation untenable.

“This would hurt me and it would hurt the Party,” he said about the interview.

He did not challenge the quotes the paper took, but said they did not belong in a paper.

Pettersson has no earlier experience as a politician. The Centre Party has received too few votes during the last elections to be able to win district council seats in Landskrona.