Order! Order! Pia Kjærsgaard, the speaker of Parliament, to step down – The Post

Order! Order! Pia Kjærsgaard, the speaker of Parliament, to step down

When Parliament resumes Mama Pia will no longer be there to keep unruly MPs or recalcitrant babies under control

Pia is happy at the prospect of getting stuck in to party work again (photo: Johan Wessman/News Øresund)
June 11th, 2019 3:38 pm| by Stephen Gadd

You could look at it as making a virtue out of a virtual necessity, but after four years in the job, Dansk Folkeparti MP Pia Kjærsgaard has announced she is relinquishing the post of the speaker of Parliament.

DF had a disastrous election, losing 21 of its 37 seats, and given that the post of speaker is normally decided by the new government, Kjærsgaard is effectively jumping ship before she is pushed.

Goodbye and good luck
“Thanks, and goodbye to the post of Parliament’s speaker. After the election a number of people have asked me if I’m going to continue in the post. I’m not. The balance of power has shifted,” Kjærsgaard wrote on Facebook.

During her four years Kjærsgaard has had a few controversial moments, but not as many as some might have predicted.

Most people took her side when the Iranian ambassador avoided shaking her hand – twice.

And there was little she could do last July when a number of Icelandic politicians urged fellow MPs to boycott a speech given by Kjærsgaard in the Icelandic Parliament celebrating the country’s 100th anniversary because of her forthright views on Muslims and immigration.

But she was cast in the role of villain earlier this year when she was accused of  bullying in the case of a Konservative MP who was asked to remove her baby from the chamber during a vote.

And there have also been questions of partisanship in the debating chamber.

No gardening leave for her
It is a role that Kjærsgaard is used to playing, even if her hands have been a little tied as speaker.

“I know the rules of the game perhaps better than a lot of others,” she told DR Nyheder before the election.

“My principle is that when one door closes, another one opens, so when I’m hopefully re-elected, I’ll be back in the parliamentary group and can really cut loose.”

But with Socialdemokratiet set to form its government with no place for DF at the table, the backbenches await Kjærsgaard.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time in the post, and I also think I’ve managed to get some good things through,” she added, drawing particular attention to the recent renovation of the debating chamber.