Activist past forces MP’s resignation

An MP for the left-wing green party GroenLinks has resigned following more allegations about his role as an environmental activist in the 1980s.

Last week Wijnand Duyvendak admitted breaking in to the economic affairs ministry in 1985 and stealing documents outlining proposals for new nuclear power stations. The revelation of the plans were deeply embarrassing to the government of the time.
But now a former civil servant has written to the NRC accusing Duyvendak of encouraging activists to terrorise his family in the same period. George Verberg was director general of the economic affairs ministry and in charge of nuclear policy.
Duyvendak was editor of the squatters’ magazine Bluf at the time. Bluf published the names and addresses of senior civil servants and encouraged its readers to ‘disturb’ them. Verberg claims petrol-soaked rags were stuffed through his letter box and that he received telephone threats.
At a news conference on Thursday evening, Duyvendak said he had decided it was better to step down as an MP. ‘I would rather have my hands free,’ he told reporters. Verberg’s letter had shocked him enormously, he said. ‘I am extremely sorry.’
Party leader Femke Halsema said she accepted his decision ‘with pain in my heart’.
Media attention has focused on Duyvendak (51) since the beginning of August when he invited the press to attend the launch of a book about his activist past. The book is due to be published next week.
Duyvendak has been an MP since 2002.
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