Populist parliamentarian resigns over lack of support in PVV

Tweede Kamer
The Chairman's seat at the Tweede Kamerphoto: JanKranendonk / DepositPhotos

PVV member Karen Gerbrands resigned as a parliamentarian out of disappointment about the lack of sympathy and support she received from her party after the death of her friend and fellow party member Willie Dille. Gerbrands has "never felt so alone" as in the past months in the PVV, she said in her farewell letter to the Tweede Kamer, which was presented to Kamer president Khadija Arib on Wednesday, NU.nl reports.

Dille's suicide this past summer hit Gerbrands hard, she wrote. She expected a "warm blanket of support and sympathy from everyone" in that "terrible year", but was disappointed. "The cold truth is that I only experienced that support and that compassion from one person." Gerbrands no longer feels at home in the parliamentary faction and therefore resigned as parliamentarian, she said.

Willie Dille took her own life early in August, a short time after posting a video on Facebook in which she said that she had been abducted, assaulted and raped "by a group of Muslims". The Public Prosecutor looked into these accusations, but found "insufficient grounds" for a criminal investigation.

PVV leader Geert Wilders did not want to respond to Gerbrands' accusations, according to the newspaper. Other party members also refused to comment.

As Gerbrands still shares the PVV's views, she will stay on in the Hague city council. Gerbrands' parliamentary seat was immediately taken by her successor Emiel van Dijk on Wednesday.