New Progress Party sex scandal emerges

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Norway’s most conservative political party, the Progress Party, was fending off another sex scandal within its ranks this week, the third this year involving liberties taken by male party members. This one also involves consumption of alcohol at a party meeting, and claims that the woman involved was bribed to cover it up.

Party officials have allegedly known about the case involving one of its Members of Parliament, Henning Skumsvoll, for the past two years. He’s accused of sexually exploiting and harassing another party member, Beate Helland, who serves on the city council in Kristiansand.

Helland admitted to Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that she’d been drinking before Skumsvoll allegedly escorted her back to her hotel room at a party meeting in 2008. She claimed she was too drunk to resist his advances and said they had sex. She has now reported him to police, for exploiting and later harassing her. She claims she was offered NOK 60,000 to keep quiet about the situation. Helland also told various Norwegian media that she felt let down by Progess Party leaders, who failed to address her concerns over the incident.

Skumsvoll’s lawyer rejects Helland’s claims, saying nothing illegal occured between his client and Helland. Progress Party leader Siv Jensen, who’s faced one crisis after another this year, declined to comment.

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