Danish Conservative leader Søren Pape Poulsen dies aged 52

Michael Barrett
Michael Barrett - [email protected]
Danish Conservative leader Søren Pape Poulsen dies aged 52
Danish Conservative party leader Søren Pape Poulsen has died aged 52. Photo: Ida Marie Odgaard/Ritzau Scanpix

Søren Pape Poulsen, the leader of the Danish Conservative party, has died aged 52 after suffering a brain haemorrhage.


Poulsen was taken ill during a party leadership meeting in Jutland town Vejen on Friday and was taken to Odense University Hospital. His death was confirmed by the Conservative party to news wire Ritzau on Saturday evening.

His next of kin were able to see him before the news was made public, Ritzau writes.

Poulsen became leader of the Conservatives in 2014 and served as Minister of Justice under former Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen from 2016 until 2019.

In the 2022 general election, he ran as a candidate to become prime minister but his party suffered a disappointing election result, returning a 5.5 percent vote share.

He was mayor of central Jutland city Viborg before taking over as Conservative leader.


Conservative general secretary Søren Vandsø paid tribute to Poulsen in a message on the party’s website.

“He collapsed in the midst of what he dedicated his life to. A political life that sought to make life better for the rest of us. He was giving us an orientation on elderly policies and foreign policy observations and the last thing he saw was a round of applause from his party colleagues,” Vandsø said.

Vandsø also gave Poulsen’s time of death as 1:13pm on Saturday.

Deputy leader Michael Ziegler takes over as acting chairperson of the Conservatives, broadcaster DR reports. Ziegler, who is not an MP but is mayor of Høje-Taastrup, will not be the political leader.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen offered condolences to Poulsen’s family.

“Today, my thoughts go to Søren's family who were so dear to him, and to the entire Conservative People's Party. May Søren Pape Poulsen rest in peace,” Frederiksen said in a statement.


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