Moderate MP accused of sexual harassment

Moderate MP accused of sexual harassment
A prominent Moderate Party MP has rejected accusations that surfaced on Tuesday that he sexually harassed a teenage member of the party's youth wing.

Gunnar Axén, who has been a member of parliament since 1998, was reported to the police for sexual harassment, the Expressen tabloid reported.

The alleged incident took place at an October 12th party organized at a hotel in the Stockholm suburb of Nacka by the party’s youth wing, Muf.

The police report was filed on Monday by an 18-year-old female member of Muf, Sveriges Television (SVT) reported.

Axén, who chairs the Riksdag’s Committee on Social Insurance, issued a brief statement denying the allegations.

“I reject the current accusations and state further that I have not been informed that I am suspected of a crime,” he wrote in an email to the Aftonbladet newspaper.

He added that he welcomes a police investigation into the allegations.

Prosecutor Mats Åhlund confirmed that on Tuesday he received the report filed by a woman claiming she was sexually harassed.

Anna Kinberg Batra, head of the Moderates’ parliamentary group said the party takes the matter “very seriously”.

On Monday, the day before news of the sexual harassment allegations became public, Axén announced he was not running for re-election and would give up his seat in the Riksdag following the 2014 elections.

“After lengthy consideration, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time for me to move on to new challenges,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

It remains unclear if the police report was filed before or after Axén gave notice of his intention to leave parliament.

TT/The Local/dl

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