D66 to investigate sexual intimidation accusations within party
Coalition party D66 requested an external and independent investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and intimidation within the party, party leader Sigrid Kaag said. This follows a blog post in which an anonymous writer tells of influential party members harassing "interns and women with ambition within the party".
The anonymous blog post mainly accused the former chairman of the D66 talent committee, according to NOS and RTL Nieuws. "He started to become an annoying little man when I rejected his appeals. He wanted more on a relational and sexual level. I didn't. Then I could forget about my ambitions within the party," the woman wrote.
According to her, the party leadership knew about this harassment, but did not intervene. Former party leader Alexander Pechtold only admonished the man, she said. "It is completely absurd that he wasn't expelled."
The blog writer said that the problem is more widespread within the D66. "It is general knowledge that a number of MPs, former party leaders and powerful strategists behind these leaders, often focus their attentions on interns and women with ambition within the party."
Party leader Kaag said on Thursday that she asked the government for an external and independent investigation into these accusations. "I think it is important that this is thoroughly investigated as soon as possible. The fact that this would have happened long ago does not change that for me," she said, adding that she was "very shocked" by the post.
She asked the writer to come forward. "I hope that she is willing to tell her story in the confidential environment of this external and independent investigation. I am making that appeal not only to her, but to anyone else affected and willing to do so."