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SWEDEN DEMOCRATS

Researcher who wrote Sweden Democrats’ white book was party member

Tony Gustafsson, the historian hired to research and write the Sweden Democrats’ ‘white book’, an investigation into its roots in the neo-Nazi and white power movements, joined the party in 2017, the Expressen newspaper has revealed.

Researcher who wrote Sweden Democrats' white book was party member
Martin Kinnunen, at a party conference back in 2015. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

When the document was published last month, the Sweden Democrats described Gustafsson, a researcher based in Uppsala, as ‘independent’, stressing that he had been able to carry out his research without interference from the party. 

But the Expressen newspaper revealed on Monday that Gustafsson had in fact joined the party he was supposed to be investigating back in 2017. 

Confronted with this, Gustafsson told the newspaper that he “would not comment on my political position or background at all in relation to this project”.

“I have chosen not to let my ideological commitments, political standpoints, or current membership, be a part of the discussion,” he said. 

In a press release, which has since been taken down from the party’s website, the party said that the report gave “no support for the idea that the party was part of the fascist movement.”

“The report suggests rather that the party and the associations which predated its establishment were in conflict with those extreme movements that then existed and that didn’t at all want to see a new movement to develop on democratic grounds,” it read. 

Martin Kinnunen, the Sweden Democrat MP who was responsible for the project, in July said that the project had been “the most transparent ever launched in Swedish politics”. 

On Monday, he said he had been unaware of Gustafsson’s past party membership. “We don’t go and dig around in our register, and don’t keep information on who has formerly been a member of the party, but instead have to delete it because of [the EU’s] GDPR rules.” 

He reiterated that Gustafsson was politically independent. 

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SWEDEN DEMOCRATS

‘It’s incredible: We have effectively got through the Sweden Democrat migration policy’

A new documentary from Sweden's SVT broadcaster has shown the surprise and delight of the far-Right Sweden Democrats' leadership when they realised the extent of the policy the rest of the right-wing bloc were willing to concede.

'It's incredible: We have effectively got through the Sweden Democrat migration policy'

The documentary, called Maktspelet (the power play), shows a meeting of the Sweden Democrat leadership on October 13th, the day before the Tidö Agreement was made public, where Gustav Gellerbrant, the party’s chief negotiator details the policies that the party had managed to get into the deal. 

“It’s actually quite incredible,” Gellerbrant tells his colleagues in the documentary. “We have effectively got through the Sweden Democrats’ migration policy. This is a paradigm shift on a grand scale which is happening and we also have a budget that will soon be complete. 

Party leader Jimmie Åkesson describes himself as “more than satisfied” with the deal. 

The Tidö Agreement is the deal through which the far-right Sweden Democrats agreed to support a three-party government of the Moderate, Christian Democrats and Liberal Parties. It is named after Tidö Slott, the medieval mansion south of Västerås in Västmanland where the details of the deal was hammered out between the parties. 

“Taken as a whole, it has exceeded all our expectations,” group leader Henrik Vinge, who led negotiations alongside Gellerbrant, tells the meeting in the SVT documentary. 

The party, he said, was now being taken much more seriously. 

“We have done it well, we have impressed the others. That’s something we’re hearing from every direction. This picture there was of SD that we are inexperienced, and also irresponsible. No one says anything like that anymore.”

“It’s hard to remember anything else like this in modern times, such an enormous transformation in such a few years as what is going to take place,” Vinge continues.  

“It’s unbelievable, actually,” agrees Gellerbrant. 

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