Danish PM Loses Minister as Internal Rift Dominates Agenda

Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen was forced to accept the resignation of a minister he’d tried to protect after members of his ruling bloc demanded the move.

Food and Environment Minister Eva Kjer Hansen will step down, she wrote on her website on Saturday. “I don’t want to stand in the way” of the government, she said.

Eva Kjer Hansen at the Parliament building in Copenhagen
Eva Kjer Hansen at the Parliament building in Copenhagen
Photographer: Asger Ladefoged/AFP/Getty Images

The decision follows a bitter internal fight inside the four-party ruling bloc, with the Conservative Party calling for Hansen’s dismissal after her ministry submitted a farming bill that was subsequently found to contain errors.

The development comes as a poll published by newspaper Berlingske shows the ruling bloc led by Rasmussen, which won elections in June, would be ousted from office if a vote were held today. The Social Democrat-led opposition is backed by 50.7 percent of voters, compared with 48.5 percent support for Rasmussen’s bloc, the Gallup poll showed.

“It is with great regret that I have received” the minister’s decision, Rasmussen said in a statement on his website. A replacement will be announced after the weekend, he said.

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