In an interview with newspaper Jyllands-Posten and via statements published on social media, Ellemann-Jensen confirmed his intention to succeed two-time prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen at the head of the party.
The minister for the environment and food in Rasmussen’s last government, Ellemann-Jensen is the son of Uffe Ellemann-Jensen, who led the Liberal party in the 1980s and 1990s.
“Many have encouraged me to stand at the forefront (for the party). So I plan to do that,” the younger Ellemann-Jensen told Jyllands-Posten.
“I will stand at our extraordinary national congress and hope to be given the backing to become the new leader of the Liberals,” he said.
Although the party, which has governed Denmark for 14 of the last 18 years, was mired with infighting and manoeuvring in the weeks leading up to Rasmussen’s resignation, Ellemann-Jensen had already emerged as the expected new leader before making his candidacy official, with leading Liberal figures announcing their support.
He has already said that any talk of a future cross-aisle partnership with traditional rivals the Social Democrats, as advocated by Rasmussen prior to the June general election, will be shelved under his potential leadership.
“The Liberals belong in the conservative family,” he told Jyllands-Posten.