Maastricht’s gay mayor faces council grilling over his private life

Maastricht’s mayor Onno Hoes faces a second grilling by councillors in a week after more revelations were made about his private life in the popular press.

Hoes, who is married to gossip television show presenter and theatre maker Albert Verlinde, has been in the spotlight since pictures of him kissing a 24-year-old man in a hotel bar were published.

Hoes denied any wrongdoing and said he was stupid to have behaved this way in a hotel lobby. The mayor, who is 52, has already assured the council there are no other skeletons in his closet.


However, Ruud Schepers, the young man at the centre of the allegations, went on television to claim he had been having an affair with the mayor. Since then another man in his 20s has claimed a relationship with Hoes after meeting him through gay website Grindr.

There are also claims that Hoes had his own profile on the gay dating site, featuring a photograph of his naked torso. Hoes himself told his husband’s gossip show RTL Boulevard that he should not have taken this step.

‘I’m hardly likely to put a picture of my face online but if you use a picture of a house or a tree you don’t meet anyone,’ he said.


The meeting between Hoes and the councillors starts at 21.00 hours on Wednesday evening.

‘I would consider it extremely unfortunate if he was on Grindr,’ said Bert Jongen, leader of the Maastricht Liberal democrats D66. ‘But I have no doubts about his functioning as mayor.’

Bernt Schneiders, Haarlem mayor and chairman of the Dutch mayors’ association, told the Volkskrant Hoes has overstepped the mark.

‘A mayor has a public function and should set an example and show irreproachable behaviour. A kiss in public opens you up to criticism,’ he said. With regard to Grindr, Schneiders said: ‘You should not move in such circles. It exposes you to blackmail.’

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