MP Van Haga left Baudet's FvD over controversial Liberation Day poster
Wybren van Haga said that he, unlike FvD leader Thierry Baudet, did not want to use politics to break any taboos, and it was for that reason the member of parliament left the FvD. Van Haga announced on Thursday he would be departing from the far-right nationalist FvD together with Olaf Ephraim and Hans Smolders.
In an interview with ANP, Van Haga reflected on a controversial Liberation Day poster his former party helped organize. The poster compared the Dutch coronavirus lockdown measures with the Nazi occupation during World War II, and said that Liberation Day should be spent mourning the loss of freedom.
"Some taboos in politics should not be broken."
He slammed Baudet for his reaction to the controversy, which according to Van Haga just proved in which direction he was planning to lead the party. Van Haga argued that Remembrance Day on the 4th of May, and Liberation Day held on the 5th of the month, should exclusively be used to honor the country's war dead.
"With some taboos, it can get quite painful," said Van Haga, who announced he would be forming a new party together with Ephraim and Smolders. The three had "fundamentally different opinions" from the rest of the party on many issues according to him, which eventually prompted them to leave.
The MPs announced they are leaving the party just two months after the March general elections. Their move resulted in FvD losing three of their eight parliament seats. Van Haga once again confirmed that he was still on good terms with the founder of his ex-party Baudet.
"We have worked together fantastically for over a year," Van Haga said. He also said it was a "great pity" he had to leave the party and that he still appreciated Baudet "very much". Van Haga dismissed those who have suggested Baudet was a racist or anti-semite.
According to Van Haga, he and his colleagues were planning to stay loyal to the FvD party program but planned to operate their new party in a way which would "not cause any fuss". He added he still did not know what the newly formed party’s name would be, nor who will lead it.
"Everyone is still confused," Van Haga concluded.