Danish deputy PM announces August return from sick leave

Ritzau/The Local
Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Danish deputy PM announces August return from sick leave
Deputy PM Jakob Ellemann-Jensen will return from sick leave on August 1st. File photo: Ida Marie Odgaard/Ritzau Scanpix

Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, the leader of coalition partner the Liberals (Venstre), is to return from a period of sick leave on August 1st.


Ellemann-Jensen will also resume his roles as deputy prime minister and defence minister when he returns from leave, he confirmed in a Facebook post on Thursday.

The Liberal leader took sick leave due to stress in February after an episode of dizziness. In March, he said that he was in better shape but not yet ready to return to parliament.

Earlier this week, Liberal MP Troels Lund Poulsen, who is standing in for Ellemann-Jensen at the defence ministry, said the party leader was “feeling better” but did not give any information on a planned return.

“I can tell you that I’ve made a final decision to return as leader of the Liberals, defence minister and deputy prime minister,” Ellemann-Jensen wrote on Facebook on Thursday.


“And after consultation with the doctors and psychologists I speak to, I’ve decided to come back on August 1st when the new political season begins,” he wrote.

Poulsen will return to his regular role as Minister for the Economy on that date, the Liberal party confirmed in a statement. Stephanie Lose, the party deputy leader who has temporarily taken on Poulsen’s Economy brief, will return to her normal role as elected chairperson of the South Denmark regional health authority.

Ellemann-Jensen also said that he had hoped to return earlier than August.

“It’s going very well with me. I feel much better and therefore hoped to come back sooner, but I listen very carefully to the skilled health experts I see every week,” he said.

“Their recommendation is that I continue to prepare for my return by increasing meetings with colleagues, that I participate socially again and that I generally get out more and take part in society again,” he said.

The Liberal leader has spoken to Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen about his planned return, he also said.

Ellemann-Jensen has led the Liberal party since late 2019. The party is usually the second largest in the Danish parliament and senior member of the ‘blue bloc’ alliance of conservative parties.

It suffered a poor result in the November 2022 election, with its 13 percent share of the vote representing 10 percent less than its vote share in 2019. Ellemann-Jensen subsequently took the party into coalition government with two other parties including Frederiksen’s Social Democrats, traditionally a political rival.

A number of Danish politicians have been forced to take time off due to stress in recent times.

They include Liberal Alliance leader Alex Vanopslagh as well as Jacob Mark (Socialist People’s Party), Ida Auken (Social Democrats) and Peter Seier Christensen, co-founder of the far right Nye Borgerlige party.

“We have an obligation to listen to what they say because no one should get sick from going to work,” the speaker of parliament, Søren Gade, said in earlier comments to news wire Ritzau.


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