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Today in Denmark: A round-up of the latest news on Monday

Find out what's going on in Denmark today with The Local's short round-up of the news in less than five minutes.

Today in Denmark: A round-up of the latest news on Monday
Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, chair of the Liberal Party (right) has said he may back the trial of his own deputy Inger Støjberg (left). Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark registers 30 new deaths due to coronavirus 

Denmark registered 30 new deaths due to coronavirus on Monday, the highest daily death toll since the start of the pandemic. The record number follows a tripling in December of the number of people being treated for the virus in hospital from 38 on December 1st to 113 on December 28th. 

Danish police to close Rådhuspladsen on New Year's Eve 

Police in Denmark are to shut Rådhuspladsen, the traditional centre of the country's celebrations, for New Years' Eve to prevent revellers from gathering. Read our story here

Liberal party head may back case against his own deputy
Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, chair of the Liberal Party, announced on Sunday night that he might support a case in the Court of Impeachment of the Realm, or Rigsretten, against the party's deputy chair Inger Støjberg. 
The first part of a government commission into her order to deport a pair of asylum seekers earlier this month ruled that her decision had been illegal and that she had misled parliament about what happened.  
Støjberg gave the order when she served as the hardline immigration minister under the previous Liberal government. 
She has expressed surprise and disappointment at Ellemann-Jensen's statements. 
Denmark gets more doses than expected out of vaccine delivery
Health staff in Denmark have been getting as many as two extra doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine out of each five-dose vial, meaning the country might be able to vaccinate as many as 40% more people than expected with the first vaccine deliveries. Read our story here
Police guard 97-year-old coronavirus patient 
A 97-year-old care home resident has been kept under permanent police guard since December 17th, after repeatedly failing to comply with calls for her to isolate. The woman, who suffers mental health issues, had been unable to understand the importance of self-isolation.  
Danish vocabulary
Overrasket – Surprised 
Festglad   – Party-happy 
Indhegnes – cordoned-off 
Ett hætteglas – a vial 
Døgnet rundt – around the clock

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Danish ex-minister quits party after impeachment trial fallout

The former immigration minister Inger Støjberg has announced she will leave the opposition Liberal (Venstre) party and continue in parliament as an independent.

Danish ex-minister quits party after impeachment trial fallout
Inger Støjberg. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

The announcement comes after a majority of Liberal party lawmakers voted in favour of sending the former minister to an impeachment court over an illegal order she issued while in office.

She had previously stepped down as deputy leader of the Liberals over the issue.

“This is endlessly hard for me, but it couldn’t be any different. In the period I’m in now, being an independent is the best way I can continue to fight for the values I stand for,” she told the local Skive Folkeblad.

She also cast doubt in the interview on the Liberal party’s chances of winning an election with leader Jakob Ellemann-Jensen at its helm and said the party’s current stance on immigration was not strict enough.

“I don’t think he (Ellemann-Jensen) will become prime minister,” she said.

Støjberg and Ellemann-Jensen have repeatedly clashed as the enquiry into her illegal order and subsequent move for an impeachment trial progressed in parliament.

The former has long been a divisive figure in Danish politics, not least because of her hardline policies and often-populist image while immigration minister.

These have included publishing anti-refugee advertisements in Lebanese newspapers, posting a picture of a celebratory cake on social media after passing a 50th law curbing immigration, and a law enabling Danish authorities to confiscate valuable items from refugees.

She was, however, the architect of a successful apprenticeship scheme for refugees while immigration minister, and defended the scheme when it was attacked by the far right.

According to Danish law, she could face anything between a fine or a prison sentence of up to ten years, should the impeachment trial find her guilty.

The leaders of Denmark’s two far-right, anti-immigration parties, the Danish People’s Party and Nye Borgerlige (New Right), both said on Thursday morning that Støjberg would be welcome to join them, news wire Ritzau reported.

The former minister is not the only high profile departure from the Liberal party in recent weeks. On January 1st, former prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen announced he would hand in his membership, also to continue

READ ALSO: Why Denmark’s former immigration minister will face impeachment trial