MP Apologises for Remarks Belittling Prime Minister Skip to content

MP Apologises for Remarks Belittling Prime Minister

By Yelena

Bjarni Benediktsson Katrín Jakobsdóttir
Photo: Golli. Minister for Foreign Affairs Bjarni Benediktsson and Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir.

Social-Democratic Alliance MP Ágúst Ólafur Ágústsson has apologised for remarks he made in an radio interview yesterday implying that Finance Minister Bjarni Benediktsson is the true leader of Iceland’s government, not Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir. The remarks have been criticised as misogynistic by Minister of Health Svandís Svavarsdóttir.

Ágúst Ólafur apologised for the remarks in a Facebook post this morning, saying they were “poorly worded” and regrets “belittling Katrín Jakobsdóttir’s leadership role.”

“I did not intend to criticise or question Katrín’s leadership, for which I have great respect, rather the intention was to criticise the politics of the Independence Party, which I believe dominates the government’s priorities, particularly in the budget and financial plan as the Independence Party handles that field,” Ágúst Ólafur stated.

Iceland’s current coalition government consists of three parties: Prime Minister Katrín Jakobdóttir’s Left-Green Movement, the Independence Party, and the Progressive Party. Katrín’s decision to form a government coalition with the right-leaning Independence Party was widely criticised, even by members of her own party. “The government is on a broad spectrum and people have had to agree to put some issues on hold for now to be able to work on more important matters,” Katrín stated in an interview with Iceland Review in 2018.

Independence Party MPs hold five of the 11 seats in the cabinet of Iceland. Finance Minister Bjarni Benediktsson is the party’s chairman. He has served as Minister of Finance since 2013, excepting a brief period when he served as Prime Minister in 2017.

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