Investigation into Icelandic tape scandal continues

Even if the Icelandic Parliamentary Speakers’ Committee has declared that its members are not qualified to investigate the Klaustur scandal, the Parliament is continuing to gather data about the offensive remarks of six MPs.

Editorial Team
Editorial Team NewsMavens, Europe
Investigation into Icelandic tape scandal continues - NewsMavens
Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson. Wikicommons

Why this story matters:

It was an unthinkable story for most Icelanders, who are generally considered to live in the most gender equal country on earth -- male MPs caught on tape were discussing their female colleagues in sexist terms, accusing one of having tried to "rape" a man, calling others "that bitch" or "a raving mad cunt." There was a female MP with them, but she did not make offensive remarks about other politicians.

For many the most shocking comments of the three-hour discussion were one MP's impression -- animal noises -- of ex-MP Freyja Haraldsdottir, who has osteogenesis imperfecta. 

Former PM Sigmyndur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, who resigned after being implicated in the Panama Papers scandal, was among the MPs caught on tape. He later wrote on Facebook that "most serious, however, is the fact that Iceland is conducting interceptions of politicians' private conversations."

Details from the story:

  • The MPs caught on tape were from Centre Party (Miðflokkurinn), including former prime minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson and former foreign minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, and People's Party (Flokkur fólksins).
  • They were recorded in a Reykjavik bar, Klaustur, on November 20, 2018.
  • An anonymous patron recorded the politicians and sent the tape to Icelandic media.
  • The four MPs of the Centre Party sent an apology to the media, saying that: "it was not our intent to hurt anyone, and it might be clear that this talk is inexcusable".
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