New right-wing party under discussion

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Around 20 people including a declared anti-Islamist and other right-wing conservatives gathered recently at the home of a Norwegian investor with the aim of founding a new right-wing political party, reports newspaper Finansavisen.

Politician Christian Tybring-Gjedde of the Progress Party (left) claims he didn't attack Culture Minister Hadia Tajik because she's a Muslim with immigrant parents. He just wants to know, he claimed, how she intends to protect Norwegian culture. Tajik responded that she'd like to know how he and his conservative party intend to do the same, since they're often proposing budget cuts for museums that do just that. PHOTO: NRK screen grab/newsinenglish.no

Politician Christian Tybring-Gjedde of the Progress Party (left) is remembered among other things for challenging former Culture Minister Hadia Tajik of the Labour Party, not, he insisted, because she’s a Muslim with immigrant parents, but because he wanted to know how she intended to protect Norwegian culture. Tajik responded that she’d like to know how he and his conservative party intend to do the same, since they’re often proposing budget cuts for museums that do just that. PHOTO: NRK screen grab/newsinenglish.no

The newspaper reported that among those gathered at the home of investor Mikkel Dobloug in Oslo’s fashionable Frogner district last month was Hege Storhaug, an author and outspoken critic of Islam. She confirmed that “some people have talked for a while about starting a new party” and that she’s taken part in the conversations, but she wouldn’t elaborate.

Also at Dobloug’s home that evening was Christian Tybring-Gjedde, a Member of Parliament for the Progress Party, and his wife, Ingvil Smines Tybring-Gjedde, who works as state secretary in the Oil & Energy Ministry. Both denied they’re involved in any plans to establish a new party, with Tybring-Gjedde saying they left the gathering to avoid any role conflicts. He stressed his loyalties lie with the Progess Party.

Progress Party leader Siv Jensen told Finansavisen that she had spoken with the couple about the meeting, adding that it would be “natural” that she and the party had “any further dialogue … directly with them.”

Peter Meidell of the Progress Party told news bureau NTB that he thinks the meeting at Dobloug’s home had been blown out of proportion. “There is freedom of expression in Norway, and you must be able to discuss politics without it being blown up like this,” Meidell told NTB, adding that he see “no reason” to have any further discussion with Tybring-Gjedde, who long has been highly critical of immigration in Norway and linked with the most conservative wing of the Progress Party.

newsinenglish.no staff