Four female MPs walked out of Alþingi when Centre Party chairman Sigmundur Davíð rose to make a statement during Friday’s meeting, RÚV reports. The walkout occurred when MPs were announcing what their votes would be on next year’s governmental budget.
Progressive Party chair Þórunn Egilsdóttir was first to walk out, followed by Progressive MP Halla Signý Kristjánsdóttir, Social Democrat Helga Vala Helgadóttir, and finally, People’s Party chair Inga Sæland. All of the women remained outside of the room while Sigmundur Davíð spoke but returned as soon as he finished and returned to his seat.
The MPs’ protest stems, undoubtedly, from the ongoing Klaustur tape scandal, of which Sigmundur Davíð played a central part. The former prime minister is one of six MPs caught on tape speaking misogynistically about female colleagues such as Inga Sæland, who participated in the protest, as well as making a variety of other demeaning, homophobic, and ableist comments.
The parliamentary Ethics Committee has since launched an investigation into the matter, to determine, in part if the MPs involved acted improperly.