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Far-right MP told to take 'time out' over Stockholm brawl

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Far-right MP told to take 'time out' over Stockholm brawl
Sweden Democrats MP Kent Ekeroth. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT
12:13 CET+01:00
Sweden Democrats (SD) MP Kent Ekeroth has been told to 'take a time out' by party leader Jimmie Åkesson after being reported to the police over an alleged assault when a fight broke out near a central Stockholm nightclub on Thursday.

Stockholm police confirmed to the tabloid that a report had been made about an incident which took place near the city's Stureplan square at 2.30 am on Thursday.

“An assault report came in from that place at around the time you named. A counter-report also came in on assault, that's not unusual in these situations,” police spokesperson Lars Byström told Aftonbladet.

It is claimed that Ekeroth struck a man in the face with his fist outside a nightclub near Stureplan, where a number of popular clubs in Stockholm are located. The man is said to have made a provocative comment towards the politician after he was denied entry to a nightclub.

“I defended myself instinctively by giving the aggressor a light slap,” the MP explained in an SMS sent to Aftonbladet.

The 20-year-old involved in the scuffle with the politician, referred to only as Daniel, not his real name, also told Aftonbladet his version of events.

"He wanted to come in but was denied by the bouncers. He walked out the queue and past me. I met his gaze and said something like 'did you have fun with the iron bar?'. He hit me with his fist right in the face," he said.

The comment was a reference to a video published in November 2012 by newspaper Expressen, which showed Ekeroth alongside former SD economic policy spokesperson Erik Almqvist and Stockholm councillor Christian Westling arming themselves with iron bars after fighting a drunken man. 

He took a "time out" from politics at the time as a result, before eventually returning in January 2013.

No one was taken into custody in relation to Thursday's incident in Stockholm. On Thursday evening SD leader Åkesson said that Ekeroth would be relieved of his duties as an SD member of Sweden's Committee on Justice while the Stureplan fight was being investigated.

“If you are subject to an accusation, regardless of what happened, it's so serious that you can't act on the Committee on Justice with the questions there are there. It's important that he takes a time out from those duties until the question is investigated,” Åkesson told news agency TT.  

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