Accused #MeToo politician Jon Stephensen to take extended leave

“We will put our relationship on hold. In other contexts of life, one would say that we are taking a separation,” said Lars Løkke Rasmussen following the revelations of an inappropriate message sent by one of his politicians

Moderaterne MP Jon Stephensen will take extended leave for the rest of the political season following the revelations that he inappropriately messaged a 19-year-old woman, his party leader Lars Løkke Rasmussen, the foreign minister, yesterday stated in a video on Facebook

“This gives Jon the opportunity to clean up,” he said. “You know the background.”

Rasmussen thus referred to Sunday’s revelations that the 63-year-old sent an inappropriate message to a 19-year-old female member of the youth party in February. 

In the correspondence, first reported by TV2, Stephensen wrote that the 19-year-old woman “is beautiful with the most delicious body”.

“There is no doubt that this correspondence goes beyond the boundaries,” commented Rasmussen in the video.

“We want a party where there is room for everyone and where you can feel safe. That’s why I’m actually really happy that the Unge Moderaterne approached the party last week and said there was a problem here. We have taken that seriously.”

Relationship on hold
In recent months there have been other cases regarding Stephensen’s former position as artistic director of the Aveny T theatre in Frederiksberg. 

But Rasmussen also said that based on the TV2 revelations, it would not have been sufficient to give Stephensen a warning or to deprive him. 

“Everyone who has followed the public debate also knows that other things have come to light. Therefore, we have to do something else. We have to keep calm. We at the Moderaterne must have the opportunity to concentrate on our politics, and Jon must have an opportunity to get back on his feet,” said Rasmussen.

Jon Stephensen will therefore take some extended leave.

“We have agreed tonight that we will put our relationship on hold. In other contexts of life, one would say that we separate,” said Rasmussen.

When the parliamentary season is over, the party will decide whether the “cohabitation” with Jon Stephensen should be resumed as before or not. 

“I know that some will say that we should take much more dramatic action,” Løkke said before stating that “making an exclusion now would be an overreaction”.