Uffe Elbæk leaves Radikale
Uffe Elbæk announced this morning that he is withdrawing from the Radikale party and will continue his life in politics as a ‘lone wolf’.
“It was a deliberate and thought-out decision that has been very hard to make. I have always said that Radikale is the least bad party,” the former culture minister wrote on Facebook.
Elbæk said that not being a member of a party will enable him to speak and act more freely.
“It has been deeply frustrating not to be able to call a spade a spade,” Elbæk said, adding that he will keep supporting the Socialdemokraterne-led government.
Had to resign as culture minister
Elbæk has been a member of Radikale for 15 years and was elected to parliament in 2011.
He resigned as culture minister in 2012, after it was revealed that he had spent 180,000 kroner on dinners and meetings at the art school Akademiet for Utæmmet Kreativitet (AFUK), where his husband was employed, and where he himself was a member of the board.
He faced further criticism from his party when he said that the government should grant asylum to American whistleblower Edward Snowden earlier this year.
Support from members of Radikale
Anders Højsted, a Radikale board member from the Nørrebro district in Copenhagen, expressed his sympathies with Elbæk's decision.
Højsted and Elbæk were both critics of the government's controversial freedom of information act (offentlighedslov) proposal.
"I understand why Uffe felt that he had to leave Radikale. I have been feeling the same way," Højsted wrote on Facebook. "I know that a majority in the Radikale support base wants the same things as Elbæk, so the struggle continues in Radikale – unfortunately against our own party leaders."
Elbæk pointed to Radikale's support of offentlighedsloven and the government's failure to deliver on its promise of earmarked parental leave for men as key reasons for leaving the party.
Not through with politics
Elbæk ended his statement saying that he has not made up his mind regarding his future political career.
“I don't know how my new life in politics is going to look yet,” he said. “I will spend the next couple of months to sort that out. But it is no secret that I want to create a new political agenda, so I am not through with politics.”