Rough justice as past and present ministers do battle

A parliamentary feud between Sweden's previous and present justice ministers worsened today when former holder of the post, Thomas Bodström, walked out in the middle of a debate.

Bodström, who headed the justice ministry until the September general election, left the room immediately after posing some questions to current justice minister Beatrice Ask.

“I was a bit surprised. If you have a question you should listen to the answer. Otherwise don’t ask.

But I suppose he wanted to make a point,” Ask told news agency TT.

She says that she has never seen anything like it from a member of parliament.

“Never during a debate on questions raised in parliament, since they last such a short time,” said Ask.

In the current minister’s opinion, Bodström wants to demonstrate that she is a worse finance minister than he was.

“I really think it is that ridiculous. Bodström is finding it difficult to adjust to the role of opposition MP,” said Ask.

Earlier this week Bodström accused Speaker of the House Per Westerberg of interrupting him during a debate and rescuing Ask from a tricky situation in the process.

Ask says that the speaker only interjected when Bodström had gone too far.

“I think I won that debate. Bodström’s level of debate is low and he behaves irrationally,” said Ask.

In his defence, Thomas Bodström says that he left the assembly to return to a meeting.

“I was in a meeting with the Security Service, which I interrupted to make a couple of contributions, and then I went back.

“It would have been impolite to keep them waiting.

“I had made my contributions and can read the replies in the minutes,” said Bodström.