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Sweden Democrat in racist email controversy

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08:21 CET+01:00
A local Sweden Democratic politician from eastern Sweden is under fire after sending a racist email to Swedish newspapers in connection with a series of articles on slumlords who mismanage rental properties.

"Are those who come from earthen floors totally nuts," Leif Vogel, a leading Sweden Democrat from Knivsta about 50 kilometres north of Stockholm, wrote in an email to the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper in an attack on tenants with foreign backgrounds.

The email came following a series of articles published by SvD describing the conditions of several rental properties in the Stockholm suburbs of Rinkeby and Tensta, both of which have a high concentration of immigrant residents.

The articles detailed problems with mold and other problems which had been ignored by landlords.

After reading the articles, Vogel sent emails to SvD as well as to the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper in which he lays out accusations and places the blame for the problem on tenants with foreign backgrounds.

"They not only bring their dyslexia with them, but also a total lack of culture and knowledge, as well as bedbugs, lice, and cockroaches, and like in the picture, their detrimental effect on our homes," wrote Vogel on one of the emails.

"The picture shows a black bastard complaining because a cupboard door has fallen off. I can't think of a worse advertisement for the black masses."

In an interview Vogel stood by the opinions expressed in the email, but explained they belonged to him as a private individual and did not represent the views of his political party.

Sweden Democrat spokesperson Martin Kinnunen condemned the email, adding that the party planned to investigate the matter and Vogel could be expelled from the party.

"As a representative for the Sweden Democrats one must always exercise good judgment. The email messages are lacking in judgement," he told the TT news agency.

The recent incident isn't the first time that Vogel has sent emails similar content.

In an email reviewed by Sveriges Radio and sent in 2008, prior to election to the local council in Knivsta, he wrote to several politicians asking, "Why should we get stressed out over how to provide for your negroes?"

On Wednesday afternoon, the Sweden Democrats announced that Vogel was leaving the party.

"He's leaving the party and his elected position immediately," the party's district chair Pavel Gamov told the local TV4 news affiliate in Uppsala.

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