50Plus leader Krol considers his future after chairman quits in row

Henk Krol looks up from the lobby of the Tweede Kamer building.
Photo: Robin Utrecht/HH
Henk Krol looks up from the lobby of the Tweede Kamer building.
Photo: Robin Utrecht/HH

The leader of the pensioners’ rights party 50Plus, Henk Krol, is considering his future following the resignation of chairman Geert Dales at the weekend.

Dales announced his departure on the TV talk show Buitenhof on Sunday, having informed Krol shortly beforehand. He said he had made up his mind to quit 10 days earlier, after most of the party’s MPs and senators issued a press release condemning his ‘autocratic’ style, coarse language and ‘extremely humiliating’ treatment of 50Plus’s parliamentary group.

Krol said he would decide whether to carry on after consulting party members over the weekend. ‘That’s the downside of the coronavirus era – everything has to be done by phone or computer,’ he said.

‘That’s not as easy as popping in and having a heart to heart. But we need to try to work out how we can be sure we are doing our best for our supporters in these difficult times.’

Krol was the only member of the parliamentary group to back Dales, who was also criticised by the party’s founder and honorary chairman, Jan Nagel. In leaked internal e-mails, Nagel said he was ‘having difficulty keeping a number of prominent members on board’ because of the dispute and warned of an ‘exodus’ if it continued.

Dales cut his ties with Nagel and the rest of the parliamentary group in a blunt response a week ago, saying: ‘I don’t think we have any future together. I won’t mourn it… Rarely in my life have I been so disappointed in a group of people.’

‘No hard feelings’

Although the row left Krol at odds with his MPs, he will hope that Dales’s departure will quell the animosity within the party. The two other members of the party’s governing board have also resigned.

50Plus MP Corrie van Brenk told AD.nl there were ‘no hard feelings towards Krol, adding: ‘The parliamentary group has always worked well together.’

50Plus currently has four MPs and two senators. The most recent opinion polls at the end of March – before the row broke out – indicated that the party could double its representation in the lower house at the general election in March 2021.

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