Numerous parliamentarians have signed a joint statement calling for the Parliamentary Ethics Committee to investigate abusive remarks made by several MPs for the Centre Party and the People’s Party. Other members of Parliament have gone out of their way to condemn the revealed remarks, and a joint apology has been issued by the Centre Party.
As reported, a recording taken at the bar Klaustur on November 20 has Bergþór Ólason, Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson and Anna Kolbrún Árnadóttir of the Centre Party, with Karl Gauti Hjaltason and Ólafur Ísleifsson of the People’s Party, all engaging in some frankly ugly discussions about the attractiveness and mental stability of several female colleagues. The recording was brought to light by Stundin and DV last night.
In the wake of these revelations, Stundin reports that several MPs have signed a joint statement calling for the Parliamentary Ethics Committee to investigate the remarks. The statement specifically cites Articles 5 and 7 of Parliamentary Ethics Regulations, which concerns showing respect for Parliament and parliamentarians, and not to do something that damages the image of Parliament.
Independence Party MP Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir was particularly sharp in her response to these recordings, telling RÚV, “It’s of course only on them to respond to their own comments. It is unbelievable that men like this, who are of course themselves all beauty contest winners, are judging the appearance and accomplishments of the women MPs that they work with.”
The four MPs of the Centre Party involved in the recordings have posted a joint “apology” that, judging by the comments on the post, still leaves a lot to be desired.
“We four Centre Party MPs who sat in a hotel bar at Klaustur last week want to sincerely apologise for the inconsiderate words in a private conversation,” the statement reads. “It was not our intent to hurt anyone, and it might be clear that this talk is inexcusable. We will focus on learning from this and will seek to show courtesy and respect to our colleagues. We furthermore apologise to Centre Party members and our families for behaving in this manner.”