Håkan Lerstorp, a municipal politician in Trelleborg, Skåne, opened his statement by saying “of course, it’s sad that women are abused”.
“But, my thought is, and I want you to think about this too sometimes: What has the woman done for a man to beat her? That’s an important thought,” Lerstorp continued.
Following the controversial comments, the populist opposition party Sweden Democrats moved to exclude the municipal politician from the party and distance themselves from the statement.
Party colleague Mathias Andersson, also taking part in the debate, immediately distanced himself and the party from Lerstorp’s comments.
“I can only apologise for what we just heard,” Andersson said. “It is not something my party believes. No matter what someone does, no one deserves to be hit, ever. Woman, man, child – no one deserves to be hit.”
Centre Party leader Annie Lööf shared a clip of the meeting on Twitter, writing “don’t think like Håkan on why men abuse women”.
Tänk inte som Håkan (SD) gör om varför män misshandlar kvinnor. https://t.co/GYsBzUiJPR
— Annie Lööf (@annieloof) June 20, 2022
Sweden Democrat party leader Jimmie Åkesson replied to Lööf’s tweet, sharing Andersson’s response to Lerstorp’s comments. “Yes, I agree,” he wrote. “Think more like Mathias Andersson.”