The party issued a statement in response to reports in the media on Monday that Petzäll had decided to leave the party but remain in the Riksdag.
“The Sweden Democrats regret that William Petzäll is now choosing to remain in the Riksdag without party affiliation. We continue to hope that he will take his responsibility to himself and the party’s voters,” the statement read.
The party explained that it has offered and paid for Petzäll to undergo treatment for alcohol and prescription drug abuse but that he neglected to continue his follow-up treatment.
“At some point in the summer, Petzäll suffered a relapse. The party came to the conclusion that a line had been crossed and told him to leave his Riksdag seat.”
According to Sweden Democrat colleague Erik Almqvist the party has not been able to make contact with William Petzäll since July and that the 23-year-old has demanded a sum of cash to surrender his seat.
“He has wanted to leave the Riksdag in return for us giving him a large sum of money, but we have not gone along with it and offered him treatment instead,” Almqvist told the E24 news website.
According to Almqvist, Petzäll has been seen in Facebook pictures holding a beer at a party in Gothenburg, the first indication that the party received that the young MP had not kept his promise of abstinence to the voters.
William Petzäll is 23-years-old and prior to Monday’s decision represented the party in Dalarna. His decision to leave the party and remain as an independent means that the Sweden Democrats’ Riksdag group declines from 20 to 19 members.
“It is going to be difficult for him. He is a newcomer, very young and he has not distanced himself from the ideas of the party – no one is going to want to be associated with him,” Johansson Heinö said.
The Local’s calls to William Petzäll for comment have not been returned.