Storberget’s new life in parliament

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If any government official deserves a break over the Christmas holidays, it’s arguably former Justice Minister Knut Storberget. He worked nearly round the clock in the weeks following the terrorist attacks of July 22, fended off massive criticism throughout the autumn over the emergency response, and finally resigned in November. Now he has a new life as a Member of Parliament.

Former Justice Minister Knut Storberget has small children at home, and can now tell them that "papa doesn't have to go to the ministry this weekend." PHOTO: regjeringen.no

Storberget, a highly regarded member of the Labour Party, was already back in parliament on Monday November 14, after resigning on Friday the 11th in a move he said he’d actually planned last winter. He said he only stayed on as Justice Minister, after holding the post for a record-long six years, because of the duty he felt after the attacks.

Now he’s a member of the parliament’s finance committee and has a new office at the Stortinget. He’d already had to move into temporary quarters after his office was badly damaged in the bombing, so was accustomed to moving, but not as accustomed to being able to come to work more casually dressed, without the justice minister’s obligatory suit and tie.

He told newspaper VG that he was keen to work with different issues from those that dominated his days at the justice ministry. “I hope to work with sharing of resources, children in poverty and climate issues,” he said.

He also plans to write, “articles, and maybe something about my experiences in the form of a book.” Storberget, age 47, revealed that he kept a diary during his term as justice minister, but when asked whether he was contemplating some form of autobiography, he was non-committal.

“I have a little project that I’ve worked on for a few years, but it’s too early to say more about it,” Storberget said.

He admitted it was a “liberating” experience to be back in parliament and not in the ministry office anymore. When he went to bed the evening after resigning, he said it was the first time in six years that he didn’t think “I hope nothing happens during the night.”

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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