Great day in the history of Venstre

Liberal leader Trine Skei GrandeLiberal leader Trine Skei Grande.Photo: Torstein Bøe / NTB scanpix

Great day in the history of the Liberals (Venstre)

Trine Skei Grande says it was time for the Liberals (Venstre) to return to Government. She is pleased with becoming Minister of Culture: – I got the job I wished for.


– It’s twelve years and three months since we were in Government last time. We are made to be a Government party and it’s about time to be back. This is a great day in the history of Venstre, Grande said, when she met the press after the Cabinet was presented on Wednesday.

She was very pleased to be appointed Minister of Culture.

– I got the job I wanted. This is where my dedication lays, and it’s where I spend my free time, she said, expressing joy that the party has gained three Cabinet Ministers.

In addition to Grande, Ola Elvestuen has been appointed Minister for Climate and Environmental Affairs, while Iselin Nybø becomes Minister for Research and Higher Education.

– Ola has been working on this field almost all his life, and with the move of Enova to the Ministry of the Climate and Environment, we have a ministry with a lot of influence. – It is important for the Liberals to put into practice the aims we have received support for, Grande said.

She also believes that the education and research field is important for climate policy, and believes Nybø will lift this field.

– It’s important for the green change, she continued.

– I have said that it is Venstre’s job to influence the Government to become greener, more giving and to make social choices, and I think we have acheved that, Grande rounded off.


Detailed questioning of Cabinet Ministers

In the wake of the #metoo campaign, the questions of former ministers and state secretaries have become even more detailed, according to Prime Minister Erna Solberg (Conservatives).

She announced her extended Government on Wednesday and then got questions about how she has made sure that the new members of Government have no skeletons in the closet.

– I think that we have done a check of those who will be Ministers and secretaries of State previously. – Anything regarding issues that can be difficult for you as a Cabinet Minister, which may be difficult for the Government or which may be reasons why you should not be one, must be put forward, the Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservatives (Høyre) stated.

– It must then be considered if you, based on what is revealed, can be a Cabinet Minister or State Secretary. It is a rather detailed questionaire, Solberg underlined.

She added that the questions have become even more clear in the wake of the #metoo campaign regarding sexual harassment.

Solberg herself had to comment on Høyre’s handling of a number of warning cases after she had presented her Cabinet on Wednesday

Influenza stricken Minister for the Elderly received a hug from Høie

Just out of the sick bed bed, The Progress Party’s (Frp) Minister for the Seniors and Public Health, Åse Michaelsen, received both hugs and key cards from her colleague, the Minister of Health, Bent Høie (Conservatives).

– I hope I’m not giving anybody the flu, but I get well taken care of here, she laughed and assured she was ready and humble about the task she has taken on.

The Progress Party has long been for that the responsibility associated with the  policy regarding the Elderly to have its own Cabinet Minister. Åse Michaelsen from Mandal has finally become Norway’s first Minister for the Elderly – to much disappointment for Carl I. Hagen, who would very much like to have been given the job.

Minister of Health, Bent Høie, is not sorry to have to share in the ministry’s work. He wishes Michaelsen a warm welcome.

– You are responsible for an area that means extremely much for people. Now, make sure that they do not end up in hospital queues – which I’m responsible for, Høie said, while he wished her succeess in a big and important task.

Michaelsen acknowledged by thanking for the great efforts already made, not least in advance of the “Live all your Life” Reform, which will be implemented next year.

– I can just surf right into the road – I’m just bringing my heart along, she said.

Mæland got keys from Sanner

Jan Tore Sanner (Conservatives) handed over the keys to his successor as Minister for the Municipals and Modernization, fellow party member, Monica Mæland.

Mæland comes from the Ministry of Industry, where she took over as a Minister after Trond Giske (Labour) after the 2013 elections.

Monica Mæland was a member of the Bergen City Council from 1999, when she was also the councilor for Høyre. From 2003 until she became Minister of Industry, she was City Council Leader in Bergen.

Now she gets the job of making sure that the municipal reform is seen through, as well as the regional reform and the reorganization of the county governor’s offices.

Sanner enters the role as Minister of Knowledge and Integration.

 Helleland in tears when she took over the Ministry for Children and Equality

– This is an incredible privilege, says Linda Hofstad Helleland (H) after taking over the Ministry of Children and Equality from Solveig Horne (Frp).

Helleland leaves the role of Minister of Culture, while Horne is out of the out of the Government and returns to the role as parliamentary representative.

The outgoing minister for Children and Gender Equality believes the ministry is one of the most important and has asked Helleland to continue to speak the children’s case, although other areas such as justice, public roads and climate dominate the agenda.

-I’m sure you’re going to do a great job. You take over a ministry with many skilled people who offer political resistance. Listen to them, but make decisions that are in line with Government policies, Horne said, who in addition to key cards handed over flowers and a copy of the UN Children’s Convention to her successor.

Helleland, in turn, was full of praise for her predecessor, and was clearly touched when she took over Horne’s former office.

– I, and the rest of the Government, are proud of your work. I have big shoes to fill, Helleland stated.

She says it is sad to leave the role as Minister for Culture, but she looks forward to embarking on a field she has experience from both in the role of women’s political spokesperson in the Conservatives and in the Family and Culture Committee in the Parliament.

– My task now is to follow up many of the important measures that the former minister has taken on. At the same time, there are still major challenges both in the field of equality and within child welfare, where things are revealed we need to look into. We will also start the division into three of the parental leave, says Helleland.

Røe Isaksen moves from knowledge to Industry

Former Minister of Industry, Monica Mæland (H), handed the keys over to fellow party member, Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, on Wednesday.

Mæland expressed wistfulness to leave the post as Minister of Industry, and called the department that Røe Isaksen takes over both big and important.

The former Minister of Knowledge said that it was precisely the post as Minister for Industry he wished for, and added that it had to do with the office furniture.

The changes in Government means that Mæland becomes Minister of Municipality and Modernization after Jan Tore Sanner, who takes over after Røe Isaksen.

Sanner is also responsible for integration, previously belonging to Minister Sylvi Listhaug’s (FrP) portfolio, so that his function becomes Minister of Knowledge and Integration.

The remaining Cabinet Ministers continue in their positions.


Facts about the blue-green Government

  • Number of Cabinet Ministers: 20

Distribution of ministers per party:

  • Conservatives (Høyre): 10
  • Progress Party (FrP): 7
  • Liberals (Venstre): 3.

Gender Distribution:

  • Men: 10
  • Women: 10

Age distribution:

  • in their thirties: 5
  • in their forties: 10
  • in their fifties: 5
  • Oldest: Åse Michaelsen and Per Sandberg (Frp), both 57 years-old.
  • Youngest: Jon Georg Dale (Frp), 33 years-old.

Distribution by county:

  • Oslo: 3
  • Hordaland 3
  • Trøndelag: 3
  • Akershus:3
  • Rogaland: 3
  • Møre og Romsdal: 2
  • Telemark: 1
  • Finnmark: 1
  • Vest-Agder: 1

Distribution by municipality:

  • Oslo: Siv Jensen (Frp), Nikolai Astrup (H) og Ola Elvestuen (Venstre)
  • Bergen: Erna Solberg (H), Monica Mæland (H)
  • Randaberg: Bent Høie (H), Iselin Nybø (Venstre)
  • Overhalla: Trine Skei Grande (Venstre)
  • Bærum: Jan Tore Sanner (H)
  • Time: Ketil Solvik-Olsen (Frp)
  • Lørenskog: Ine Eriksen Søreide (H),
  • Ørskog: Sylvi Listhaug (Frp)
  • Porsgrunn: Torbjørn Røe Isaksen (H)
  • Skogn: Per Sandberg (Frp)
  • Ski: Anniken Hauglie (H)
  • Klæbu: Linda Cathrine Hofstad Helleland (H)
  • Volda: Jon Georg Dale (Frp)
  • Båtsfjord: Frank Bakke-Jensen (H)
  • Os: Terje Søviknes (Frp)
  • Mandal: Åse Michaelsen (Frp)


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today