Leader of far right nationalist FvD steps down following anti-Semitism report
The leader of far right nationalist party Forum voor Democaratie, Thierry Baudet, said he will give up his main leadership role. He also will not be among the party’s primary candidates during Parliamentary elections next year, he said on Twitter. A spokesperson for the party told Nu.nl in a clarifying comment that Baudet will remain as party chair.
Baudet’s resignation from the day to day management of the party follows days of turmoil after it again emerged that members of the youth wing of the party, the JFvD, shared an extensive amount of anti-Semitic, pro-Nazi, and homophobic messages in WhatsApp groups and on Instagram. Baudet had said he wanted an investigation into the JFvD. while other prominent party members said it was not enough.
“I've chosen the ultimate political consequence,” he stated in an online message to supporters after a secret meeting of FvD senior members. Baudet said he will not give up his seat as a current Member of Parliament. He also said he would continue to support the party and would be willing to appear lower on the party’s candidate list as a cheerleader for the FvD, but which could lead to him getting another term in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch Parliament.
The JFvD is chaired by Freek Jansen, a top advisor and confidant to Baudet. By Sunday it became clear that the JFvD board was likely to temporarily resign over the issue, which Baudet praised, saying, “Get straight to the point. No ‘trial by media,’ but take a serious look at the situation and then draw conclusions.”
However, the temporary self-suspension and internal investigation did not go far enough to sway some of the less radical members of the extreme nationalist party. “Too little too late,” said Annabel Nanninga, a member of the FvD serving in the Eerste Kamer, the upper house of Dutch Parliament.
Anonymous sources told newspaper Parool that four of the five top members of the party up for election next year wanted a more strict response against JFvD. Only Baudet declined.
“I see that now there are people within the party who do not want to wait for the investigation, based on reports in the media. Of course, if things have happened that are unacceptable, then action must be taken. But now as a party we are threatening to jump the gun and throw people under the bus before we know what happened,” he said in his video message.
”If that is the situation, then as the highest person I want to take political responsibility."