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Messing quits front-line politics

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Messing quits front-line politics
11:26 CEST+02:00
Former minister Ulrica Messing has announced she is leaving full-time politics. A statement issued by her Social Democratic Party said she was quitting parliament to "try something different," while newspaper Aftonbladet says she is leaving for family reasons.

Messing will remain a member of the party's board and another key party committee.

"I have worked as a full-time politician for the Social Democrats since the 1991 election and, after 16 years in the Riksdag and the government, I want to try something else."

Once seen as a potential future prime minister, Messing was infrastructure minister in Göran Persson's government. There was speculation that she would be a candidate to succeed him as Social Democrat leader after the party lost last September's election. She refused to stand, however, citing her need to devote time to her young son.

Elected to parliament at the age of 23, in 1996 she became deputy employment minister aged 28. She served continuously as a minister until last year. Since the election, she has been her party's defence spokesman and is chairwoman of the Riksdag's defence committee.

Messing made the news earlier this year over her relationship with multi-millionnaire Torsten Jansson, whose New Wave Group owns Småland glassmaker Orrefors Kosta Boda. As infrastructure minister, Messing had awarded 2 million kronor to market Småland glass abroad. She later became a member of New Wave's advisory board.

As a former cabinet minister, Messing is entitled to a pension of 49,567 kronor a month until she reaches 65, after which she will be entitled to 35,839 a month.

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