Tom de Bruijn to take over for Sigrid Kaag as interim foreign minister
Tom de Bruijn, the caretaker Minister for Foreign Trade, will temporarily take over the lead at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after D66 leader Sigrid Kaag stepped down from the position. Kaag announced her intention to resign when Members of Parliament in the Tweede Kamer passed a motion of censure against her over the chaotic handling of the evacuation of Dutch personnel, citizens and assistants from Afghanistan.
Kaag submitted her request for resignation to King Willem-Alexander on Friday, the government press office said in a statement. The king granted the request, and thanked Kaag "for the many and important services rendered by the Minister to him and the Kingdom."
Kaag moved into the role on May 24 when Stef Blok shuffled out of Foreign Affairs to become the Minister of Economic Affairs. Six weeks later, De Bruijn, 72, was picked to take over Kaag's Foreign Trade portfolio. De Bruijn has had a lengthy career in politics and education. He has spent decades working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, represented the Netherlands to the United Nations in Geneva, and was on the Council of State. From 2014-2018 he was an alderman in The Hague, which he followed up as the chair of Clingendael Institute's advisory board.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte was going to be joined by Kaag on a visit to the residence of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday. She was set to visit the UN General Assembly in New York next week. It was not immediately known if De Bruijn was going to fill in for her on either trip.
De Bruijn's service as Minister of Foreign Affairs will be temporary while a search is carried out for another minister. The new foreign affairs minister will be picked from the ranks of the VVD, and will serve at least until a new Cabinet is formed.
Negotiations are underway between political parties VVD, D66 and CDA to form a new Cabinet, albeit one without majority support. The formation process stalled repeatedly since elections were held over six months ago.