The politician told newspaper Aftonbladet that his trip in early January was sponsored by around ten different companies, including budget airline Norwegian.
Pressed by the newspaper on why he had accepted the paid trip, despite claims that he generally refused offers from the airline industry, Federley replied:
“Well, this was pretty much tied to my drag personality, Ursula. It’s not me as a member of parliament doing this; it’s more a case of me travelling as my drag personality,” he said.
Federley has not made any secret of his predilection for cross-dressing, recently arriving as Ursula at the Swedish Mr Gay competition.
Dismayed by the newspaper’s line of questioning, Federley dismissed what he felt was an insinuation that he had only taken on the job for the sake of a free holiday in the sun at a newly built four-star hotel.
“Sometimes I get asked if I want to do something extra that has nothing at all to do with my parliamentary work. If it doesn’t clash with the job, I’ll take on a commission. And like anybody else I’ll ask to be paid for it,” he writes on his personal website.
Federley explained that the purpose of the trip was to prepare travel tips for people intending to travel to the Spanish island’s annual drag queen carnival. The invitation had come from gay community website Hanky.se where the politician maintains a blog, the title of which translates as “The Other Side of Federley”.
Though apparently baffled by media interest in his extra-curricular activities, the MP was sure to maintain his keen business instinct.
“Maybe this will mean more publicity for Ursula, which in turn will lead to more work,” he writes.