Labour must look in the rear view mirror

Rear view mirror. Illustration Photo:

Labour must look in the rear view mirror, retorts PM

Jonas Gahr Støre demands that Prime Minister Erna Solberg take a position on Minister of Justice, Sylvi Listhaug’s, latest terrorist statements. Solberg retorts by telling Labour to look in their rear view mirror.


– It’s outrageous. And very sad. Norway’s Minister of Justice publishes this post, which is left for hours without the country’s Prime Minister commenting at all, Labour leader Jonas Gahr Støre writes on Facebook.

On Thursday, the majority of the Parliament voted down the proposal made by the Progress Party (Frp) that the Ministry of Justice should be able to deprive Norwegian foreign fighters of their passport without a court decision.

On Friday morning, Minister of Justice, Sylvi Listhaug (Frp), shared a photo on Facebook featuring several foreign fighters with masked faces, accompanied by the text: “Labour believes terrorists’ rights are more important than the nation’s security. Like and share”.


Støre believes that Prime Minister Erna Solberg (Conservatives) and Listhaug show themselves as being serious and worthy when warning against trolling and intrusive comments. He however thinks that means nothing when Listhaug and her party colleagues “spin this yarn”.

– Take a look in the Comments on Listhaug’s post. She is well aware of what she’s doing, he goes on.

Støre asked Prime Minister Solberg, Minister of Culture, Trine Skei Grande (Liberals), and Listhaug’s State Secretary, Sveinung Rotevatn (Liberals) to step forward.

– An alternative is that Erna Solberg supports Listhaug or else she thinks it is alright to have a Minister of Justice who is a lose cannon on deck. Either way it is unacceptable, the Labour party leader writes.

On Friday evening, the Labour Party’s party secretary, Kjersti Stenseng, commented on the matter on Facebook :

– Today is the premiere of the film Utøya, July 22. After reading the Facebook status of Norway’s Minister of Justice issued a few hours ago, I have two challenges to her: Firstly, she should watch the movie. After that she should be ashamed of herself.

Solberg criticizes Labour

Prime Minister Erna Solberg reminds that the fight against terror is the essence of the issue. According to Solberg, the Government wishes to put the security of the Nation first before any other desires, a wish she believes the majority of the Parliament makes it difficult to achieve.

– It turns out that the majority in the Parliament (Stortinget) choose a path that I believe will make it more difficult to fight terrorism, the Prime Minister tells NTB.

Solberg rejects Støre’s request to rebuke Listhaug, and believes that  Labour must look in the rear view mirror.

– There is a lot of barbed rhetoric in politics. If Labour and Frp want to discuss in that manner, it is up to them. I am myself a very boring politician who wants political debate only. The fight for a boring debate will probably not be won by me, she says.

Labour is welcome to make an about turn

In an email to NTB, Listhaug answers the criticism on Saturday afternoon.

– We live in an uncertain time where we need the necessary tools to fight terror and safeguard our country. If Labour does not like to be criticised for voting against this proposal, they are welcome to make an about turn, writes Listhaug.

Listhaug points out that other countries have similar provisions for the withdrawal of passports from foreign fighters, a provision she believes is important in order to combat terrorism.

– The reason we want to challenge Labour in this case is that Støre himself has taken self-criticism for not taking immigration policy seriously enough, and that they have stated that they should be stricter. In practical life, they show the opposite view, according to the Minister of Justice.

Asked if Frp has reason to claim that Labour believes rights of terrorists are more important than the nation’s security, Listhaug replies:

– They are voting against a proposal that will allow confiscating passports belonging to foreign fighters. The proposal will be a deterrent to potential foreign fighters and thereby prevent them from partaking in terrorism.


© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today