On Monday, Sweden Democrat MP Hanna Wigh revealed she was quitting the party to become an independent MP, saying she was silenced by bosses after raising the alarm over sexual harassment.
Wigh, an SD MP since 2014, and a number of her female colleagues spoke to TV4 documentary 'Kalla Fakta' of a series of sexual scandals, harassment, rape allegations and attempted cover-ups by the party.
One alleged incident in particular grabbed headlines in Sweden this week, after Wigh also told the programme that another SD MP sexually assaulted her.
“He had a hand on my throat and pressed me against the wall. Then he put his free hand inside my trousers and pushed up a finger. Then he told me we should see each other outside of parliament at some point,” she said.
She said she told party bosses about the incident, but did not report it to the police out of fear of the consequences. However, the party this week reported it, and a prosecutor is currently investigating.
On Tuesday afternoon the party's press officer Henrik Vinge told Swedish media that the MP who is subject to the sexual assault accusation is now taking a “time out” and has left the Riksdag pending the probe.
“I'm in a bizarre nightmare,” the accused man told the Expressen tabloid, denying the allegations.
“I have never ever sexually assaulted Hanna Wigh or any one else,” he added to Aftonbladet.
“I regard her as one of my confidants. We had a good relationship, I thought.”
“We have had an on-and-off sexual relationship since 2012. It has taken place on her initiative, on my initiative. Many times,” he added.
SD bosses, including party leader Jimmie Åkesson, have said they were unaware of the alleged incident, which is said to have happened in parliament in March 2016, but according to Wigh she informed them.
“It is tragic the way they have chosen to handle this. They're not taking it seriously,” she told Expressen on Tuesday evening.
“That they reported it to the police was only strategic. That way you say you're taking it seriously, but with the knowledge that the investigation will be dropped.”
Responding to the man's claims that the pair had a sexual relationship, she said: “I don't know where that comes from. Would that justify what happened in parliament?”
“We have had a close relationship and have been close friends, but I don't want to talk about that. That would be letting the Sweden Democrats set the terms of the debate.”
“All the talk about the safety of girls is just pure propaganda. They have no interest in that.”
The Sweden Democrats are currently the third biggest party in parliament, but have been polling as Sweden's second most popular party in several recent surveys. Running mainly on a platform aimed at cutting immigration, they are hoping to increase their support in next year's general election.
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