Embattled ex-tax minister to seek leave – The Post

Embattled ex-tax minister to seek leave

Decision comes as government opens probe to determine who meddled in the tax audit of former opposition leader – and now PM – Helle Thorning-Schmidt

December 4th, 2011 2:48 pm| by admin

Troels Lund Poulsen, the tax minister in the Venstre-Konservative cabinet voted out of office in September, will ask parliament for a leave of absence tomorrow, his party, Venstre, has announced.

Poulsen has been in the spotlight in recent weeks as questions have arisen about who in the Tax Ministry leaked information to the press last year relating to a tax audit of then-opposition leader Helle Thorning-Schmidt.

On Friday, a formal enquiry was opened into the allegations and Poulsen said his decision came after he found himself unable to “satisfactorily carry out the duties” of MP.

“I have to admit that all the attention being paid to questions about the Helle Thorning-Schmidt tax audit completely overshadows my work as a politician,” he said in a press release.

Responding to the announcement, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, the Venstre leader and PM while Poulsen served as tax minister, said he had full confidence that Poulsen had not violated Tax Ministry rules.

Poulsen denies meddling in the audit and has repeatedly said he welcomes an investigation into the allegations.

The tabloid Ekstra Bladet has cast new doubt on Poulsen’s claim, however, after it reported today that Peter Arnfeldt, Poulsen’s special advisor at the Tax Ministry, offered to give Thorning-Schmit’s tax file to the paper.

Such an act, Ekstra Bladet’s sources say, would be illegal.

In a press release, Poulsen maintained that he was not involved in the leak.