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Former minister compares Danish People’s Party to Ku Klux Klan

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Former minister compares Danish People’s Party to Ku Klux Klan
Martin Henriksen (L) and Henning Dyremose. Photos: Asger Ladefoged/Scanpix; Niels Ahlmann Olesen/Scanpix
14:20 CEST+02:00
Henning Dyremose, a former minister with the Danish Conservative party, has been criticised after comparing the nationalist Danish People’s Party (Dansk Folkeparti, DF) to the Ku Klux Klan.

DF spokesperson Martin Henriksen said that the Conservatives should consider ejecting Dyremose from the party, reports news agency Ritzau.

Dyremose said during a broadcast on radio station Radio24syv Thursday that parallels could be drawn between populist political party DF and the racist, extremist American KKK movement.

“I think it’s absurd that a former minister and high-profile politician from the Conservative Party is comparing DF with the Ku Klux Klan, which has lynched people in all possible ways and has acted indecently and deeply, deeply unfairly towards people of another skin colour. The man must be insane,” DF’s immigration spokesperson Henriksen told Ritzau.

Henriksen said he was strongly calling for Dyremose to retract the statement and apologise.

“Many Danish people vote for the Danish People’s Party. They have done so because they are concerned about the trend [of immigration, ed.]. Not because they want to lynch people. So the Conservative Party must clearly state that this is completely unacceptable,” Henriksen added.

READ ALSO: Danish People's Party MP: ‘Shoot at migrants'

Dyremose said during his appearance on Radio24syv that he was “a little regretful” of the comparison, but found it a difficult one not to make.

The former minister described his own experience with the KKK during his youth in the USA.

“Some people were to a great extent socialists with regard to economic politics. They were [part of] the poor working class. But at the same time, they were hateful like mad towards black people,” Dyremose is quoted by Ritzau as saying.

“And that is a little like what I see in the Danish People’s Party: They have actually become socialists in their economic policies, but are hateful with regard in particular to the foreigners that are Muslims,” he said.

READ ALSO: The rise and rise of the Danish People’s Party

Henriksen told the news agency that he saw Dyremose’s words as a direct comparison that the ex-minister could not make any excuse for.

“[The Conservative leadership] should seriously consider whether a person that speaks about the Danish People’s Party in that way should be a member of the Conservative Party,” he said.

The Conservative Party itself has form for controversial statements regarding Muslims, most famously when it released an election campaign poster in 2015 with the slogan “Stop Nazi-Islamism”.

Conservative Party secretary Søren Vandsø told Ritzau via a written message that Dyremose must take responsibility for his own statement.

Dyremose was minister for employment and later finance minister under Poul Schlüter’s Conservative government during the 1980s.
 

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