Centre Party MPs Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson and Bergþór Ólason returned to parliament today after a period of unpaid leave following their involvement in the so-called Klaustur Scandal. The two MPs took a voluntary leave from the parliament in late November after a now-infamous recording of them and four other MPs uttering sexist, ableist, and homophobic comments went public. Mbl.is reports that the MPs informed their fellow party members of the decision by email just this morning.
In separate statements, Bergþór called his comments at Klaustur Bar “careless,” while Gunnar Bragi called his own “inappropriate and hurtful.” Both men characterised the recording as “illegal” and criticised the media and parliament’s response to the issue.
A shadow in the chamber
Two opposition parliamentarians began their statements by remarking on the MPs return. “I have to admit that it has put me somewhat off balance to see the Klaustur men sit here in this chamber as if nothing had happened,” stated Pirate Party MP Halldóra Mogensen. Jón Steindór Valdimarsson of the Reform Party observed: “There seems to be a shadow over the chamber today.”