Pressure mounts on Lodewijk Asscher to challenge for Labour leadership

Social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher.
Lodewijk Asscher. Photo:

A group of 15 local Labour party chiefs and city aldermen have called on social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher to run for the party leadership and challenge the incumbent Diederik Samsom.

‘We think Lodewijk Asscher must first lead the PvdA and then the country,’ they say in an article in the Volkskrant. ‘It is not that we want rid of Diederik Samsom, who deserves respect for what he has achieved, but because we consider Lodewijk Asscher to be the best person for our future.’

The coming election could well end up a battle between two party leaders, one of whom ‘blames Islam for everything and the other who laughs problems away’, the article said.

The Labour party, part of the current coalition with Mark Rutte’s VVD, is trailing badly in the polls. The Netherlands will elect a new government in March 2017.

Asscher has said he will announce whether or not to challenge Samsom for the top job this month.

On Thursday afternoon, Labour MP Jacques Monasch came forward to say he will contest the leadership.

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