Labour MP Khadija Arib was subjected to what most newspapers agree was a sustained, malicious and personal attack on her integrity during an emergency debate called by the anti-immigration PVV party last night.
The attack was led by PVV leader Geert Wilders who called on Arib to stop her advisory work for the human rights council in Morocco (where she was born) or step down as MP.
Although the right-wing Liberal party (VVD) supported the motion for an emergency debate on the issue, it stopped short of voting with the PVV.
An overwhelming parliamentary majority voted in favour of Arib, who has been an MP since May 1998, and said there was no reason for her to give up her advisory work for Moroccan migrants in Europe.
Several MPs expressed their shock and distaste for the way in which Wilders attacked Arib. GroenLinks leader Femke Halsema accused him of ‘double standards’ saying he only picked on MPs with an Islamic background.
She pointed out that Wilders had said nothing about the fact that Hans van Baalen (VVD) had been a paid consultant for the Taiwan government.
Halsema also accused the VVD of using the row over Arib for political gains in this week’s provincial elections.
Arie Slob, parliamentary leader of junior coalition partner ChristenUnie, called the attack ‘shameful’.
But justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin who was standing in for Christian Democrat prime minister Jan Pieter Balkenende, said only that MPs’ auxiliary jobs were nothing to do with the cabinet.
Arib left parliament ‘clearly upset’ after the debate, says today’s Volkskrant. ‘The fact that you’re made out to be a spy is painful enough. But that a colleague MP proposes to have you sent away – that I find really scary,’ she told the paper.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.
We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.Make a donation