Thursday 17 October 2019

Former housing minister Ella Vogelaar dies after struggling with depression

Photo: Roel Wynants via Flickr

Former Dutch housing and integration minister Ella Vogelaar has died at the age of 69. Vogelaar, who was deputy leader of the FNV union federation before becoming a minister, suffered from depression and ended her own life, her partner Onno Bosma told the Volkskrant.

Vogelaar was appointed as a minister on behalf of the Labour party in 2007 and charged with tackling the problems in the country’s most disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

But after a number of difficult episodes in her ministerial career and public disagreements with the Labour leadership, she lost the confidence of the coalition and stood down. In later years, she continued to support plans for further cooperation between the PvdA, GroenLinks and the Socialist party.

Party leader Lodewijk Asscher described her as ‘a strong, committed woman who had a big heart.’

Prime minister Mark Rutte described her death as tragic. ‘She was a real social democrat with strong principles,’ he said on Twitter.

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