Monday 16 May 2022

And then there were four. Campaigning MP Pieter Omtzigt to contest CDA leadership job

Pieter Omtzigt during a debate about the tax office. Photo: Bart Maat ANP

Campaigning MP Pieter Omtzigt has become the fourth person to announce he plans to join the contest to find a new leader for the Christian Democrats.

Omtzigt, one of two MPs who got the tax office benefit scandal on the political agenda, has been an MP for 17 years.

‘I want to lead the campaign to make sure that government is once again for the people, not the other way round,’ he told RTL Nieuws. ‘This is why I got stuck into the terrible way the tax office treated people who claimed childcare benefits. This must never happen again.’

Omtzigt has also called for the ring-fencing of British nationals’ rights post Brexit.

Asked about a potential alliance with the far right Forum voor Democratie, Omtzigt told RTL Nieuws: ‘Mr Baudet [the FvD leader] has said the CDA aims to destroy the Netherlands, so he has said that he does not want to work with us.’

He will take on health minister Hugo de Jonge, junior economic affairs minister Mona Keijzer and Limburg MP Martijn van Helvert for the job, which was vacated by Sybrand Buma when he moved to be mayor of Leeuwarden.

The new party leader will be the CDA figurehead in the 2021 general election campaign.

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