Alþingi’s Environment and Communications Committee voted in a new chairman this morning amid upset over the return of the Klaustur scandal MPs to parliament, RÚV reports. The former chairman was one of the MP’s recorded making misogynistic comments last November. The recordings were reported to The Icelandic Data Protection Authority, which is currently investigating the matter
The Environment and Communications Committee’s last meeting was reportedly a heated one, with contention arising over the presence of Bergþór Ólason, one of the disgraced Klaustur scandal MPs, who had been chairman of the committee until he took a leave of absence due to the scandal. Bergþór has now stepped down as chairman and been replaced by Jón Gunnarsson, MP for the Independence Party.
The minority parties are not satisfied with the new chairman, as it means that the opposition now only has two chairmen in the Parliament’s committees, instead of three. The parties released a statement today, objecting to a member of the government parties taking over the committee. They had previously proposed that a member of the opposition should take Bergþór’s place. The Centre Party, to which Bergþór belongs, suggested that Jón Gunnarsson of the Independence party, should lead. The motion was then accepted to accusations of betrayal from the minority opposition.
Meanwhile, the Klaustur MPs have now reported Bára Halldórsdóttir to the Icelandic Data Protection Authority, the woman behind the infamous recording, for breach of privacy. Bára, who is LGBT+ and disabled, claims she was outraged at how the MPs spoke and decided to record them on the spot. The Klaustur MPs have in turn accused Bára of conspiring against them by wearing a disguise, dressing up as a tourist to draw attention away from herself as she recorded the MPs’ drunken outbursts.
Yesterday the Icelandic Data Protection Authority revealed on their website that they have requested that Klaustur hand over surveillance footage of the fateful evening, in order to ascertain what truly went on.
As Iceland Review has previously reported, the Klaustur scandal broke late last November when a recording of MPs for the Centre Party and People’s Party, including Bergþór Ólason, was made public where the MPs were heard making disparaging remarks about colleagues, women, gays and disabled people over drinks at hotel bar Klaustur in downtown Reykjavík, causing uproar.