Dutch PM lashes out at far right MP over sexist comments

Prime Minister Mark Rutte lashed out at PVV parliamentarian Raymond de Roon over a sexist remark he made during a parliamentary debate on top European appointments on Thursday. While discussing the appointment of German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen as president of the European Commission, De Roon spoke of "a ladies' circle" and Rutte could not contain his irritation, AD reports.

Rutte spoke about the experiences that former Dutch Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert and current Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld had with Von der Leyen. The two Dutch Ministers were very impressed by their German counterpart's work, Rutte said. 

De Roon did not agree. According to him, Von der Leyen left the German armed forces in an "exceptionally bad" condition. "But that the ladies' circle of Ministers can get along well, I do believe", he began his reaction.

Rutte immediately interrupted him. "I am never that sensitive about men's and women's issues, and I am really not the first to say something is sexist, but I think this is such a wrong remark", the Prime Minister said. "I am so proud that the post of defense minister is also filled by women all over the world, and that when girls are born they can become chancellors of Germany, or president of the Tweede Kamer. What a wrong remark, bleh."

According to the newspaper, the far-right parliamentarian silently listened to the reprimand, after which the debate in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, continued.