René Leegte (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Wikiportret/René Leegte) René Leegte (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Wikiportret/René Leegte)
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - 12:18
Ruling party MP quickly resigns over new integrity issue
VVD Parliamentarian René Leegte resigned from the Tweede Kamer (lower house of parliament) today due to an integrity issue. "Wiith pain in my heart I immediately make my parliamentary seat available. The background for this is my own carelessness. With enthusiasm I got paid from late 2013 to late 2014 for a ancillary function performed for an organization that is active in areas that my portfolio touches." Leegte said in his resignation. He "stupidly" did not register the function on time and did not directly report the ancillary revenue from the function. He also used his Tweede Kamer email address in some cases. "Looking back on this situation, I can only conclude that this kind of sloppiness is not to be explained and violate the integrity rules applicable within my party. Therefore I can not and will not continue functioning in the Tweede Kamer." Party leader Halbe Zijlstra says that Leegte's resignation is "painful but the only logical conclusion". The VVD has been dealing with a lot of integrity issues and resignations lately. Parliamentarian Mark Verheijen resigned due to unjustified declarations and a free election party he held in 2012. Kathalijne de Kruif, the VVD faction leader from Maarssen, was arrested in a criminal investigation involving fraud and cannabis cultivation. Just before the elections VVD Minister Ivo Opstelten and State Secretary Fred Teeven resigned their posts at the Ministry of Security and Justice over a deal that Teeven made a drug criminal during his time as a prosecutor.