Parliamentary chairwoman under fire over ‘voting fodder’ remark

Parliamentary chairwoman Gerdi Verbeet should do more to foster respect between MPs and take action to repair standards in parliament, the Dutch-Moroccan organisation SMN wrote in a letter to her on Wednesday.

The SMN was reacting to remarks by PVV leader Gert Wilders last week when he accused the Labour party of spending 30 years allowing the Netherlands to fill up with ‘Islamic voting fodder’.
Former parliamentary chairman Frans Weisglas also criticised Verbeet for not intervening.
‘I am shocked that the term ‘Islamtic voting fodder’ is being used within the highest organ of our democracy,’ Weisglas is quoted as saying in the Telegraaf. He says Verbeet could have called on Wilders to withdraw his words.
Left the chamber
Social Party leader Emile Roemer left the chamber in protest at the statement, while prime minister Mark Rutte distanced himself from the remark.
The SMN told Verbeek it would have liked to have seen her intervene. But according to her spokesman, it was agreed in 2007 that MPs themselves are responsible for correcting any offensive use of language, reports news agency ANP.
The chairman will only intervene when a person or group is offended that cannot defend itself and no MP takes action. This was not the case with Wilders’ remark because Roemer left the chamber, the spokesman told ANP.

Thank you for donating to

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