The far-right Sweden Democrats (SD) removed European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) MEP Kristina Winberg from their EU list of candidates ahead of this week’s European elections after accusing her of disloyalty to the party following her report that another female member of the SD had been sexually harassed by a senior party member.
Already, when the party was to appoint its candidates in the EU election, An internal discussion inside the SD about Winberg’s conduct before she was removed from the party list. “The background to these discussions was repeated events in which Winberg has in recent years given evidence of blameworthy and disinterested conduct both in relation to colleagues and staff – but also in relation to directives and wishes presented by the national organisation,” the SD said in a statement.
Winberg was sacked a day after its reporter confronted fellow ECR MEP, and the Sweden Democrats’ lead candidate in the European elections, Peter Lundgren, with allegations of sexual harassment. According to the report, the incident took place in a hotel room in 2018 following a party meeting that was witnessed by Winberg.
She reportedly recorded two conversations on her mobile phone with the unnamed alleged victim. .
“I told the party that I made a recording, with the other woman’s knowledge … Both she and I saw this as very serious and we both wanted it on record if she wanted to take it further. It was not about destroying the party or anyone, but abuse that I thought was unacceptable,” said Winberg.
Lundgren confirmed the incident had taken place but said it was a misunderstanding after he said he “had a bit to drink.”
“I know I put my hand on her breast, but not with the intention of anything happening, not at all,” Lundgren said, claiming that he and the alleged victim have “straightened things out.
In a post on Facebook, Winberg responded to the party’s announcement, saying, “For obvious reasons, I do not feel great right now as it hurts to be accused and convicted without the right or the opportunity to defend themselves. I will respond to the horrendous accusations directed at me. Thank you once again for all the support you have shown me.”