The right-wing Liberal party (VVD) is no longer a democratic party with just a couple of senior party members drawing up policy, former integration minister Rita Verdonk said in a speech in Utrecht on Wednesday night.
Verdonk, who has made unsuccessful attempts to take over the party leadership before and after last November’s general election, said the VVD had lost the immigration debate to Geert Wilders’ anti-Islam party PVV.
‘The voter is not being listened to,’ the Telegraaf reported Verdonk as saying. ‘The VVD has become invisible in the immigration debate and we should do something about that.’
Verdonk said it was up to current leader Mark Rutte to raise the party’s profile. ‘That is not my job,’ Verdonk was quoted as saying in the AD newspaper.
Verdonk’s comments come just days before the VVD holds its annual conference.
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