The Ethics Committee of the Icelandic Parliament has been convened to investigate the so-called “Klaustur scandal,” RÚV reports. The parliament is investigating the sexist, homophobic, and ableist remarks MPs were recorded making as a possible breach of ethics. The appointment of former Prime Minister Geir Haarde, the details of which are discussed on the recording, will also be investigated as a possible breach of law.
Speaker of the Icelandic Parliament Steingrímur J. Sigfússon apologised to the nation yesterday for the remarks, made by MPs in a late-night conversation that has been front and centre in local media since last weekend. The group of Centre Party and People’s Party MPs, including former Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, was recorded making disparaging remarks about female colleagues over drinks at Klaustur Bar last weekend. The Icelandic public has reacted with shock and anger, holding a protest last Saturday that called for the MPs in question to be held accountable.
Ásta Ragnheiður Jóhannesdóttir, chair of the Parilamentary Ethics Committee, told RÚV its three members convened this morning for a short, preparatory meeting. The committee has not established a timeframe for the investigation, which will involve gathering data as well as statements from the MPs in question. This is the first time the committee is convened to discuss a possible breach of ethics.
A poll shows that 74-91% of Icelanders want the six MPs to resign. When asked whether they believe it was right for media to publish the recording of the MPs conversation, 86% responded yes, while 10% said no.