Bruijn re-elected as Senate chair despite staff complaints

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Jan Anthonie Bruijn has been re-elected as chair of the Senate days just days after he expressed regret for his behaviour towards parliamentary staff.

The VVD senator, who has held the post since 2019, defeated the only other candidate, Mei Li Vos of the opposition Labour party (PvdA), by 44 votes to 26.

The post of chair comes up for election every time a new senate is sworn in. The current crop of senators, elected at the end of May, took their seats for the first time two weeks ago.

The largest party, the Farmer-Citizen Movement (BBB), and the VVD both said they would support the 65-year-old Bruijn, who is professor of medicine at Leiden University.

Last month officials confirmed to NOS that Bruijn had been warned about his authoritarian behaviour after it emerged that staff members had complained about his angry outbursts.

Bruijn denied the claims of intimidating behaviour, but admitted that he was prone to “micro management” and had complained to staff about working conditions and the quality of written memos.

In an email to staff he said he regretted “everything that has happened” and accepted his emotions had influenced his decision making, leading to a “non-adequate attitude”. He promised to seek external help to improve his behaviour.

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