The entire Dutch government left the House of Representatives when the extreme right-wing politician Thierry Baudet of Forum for Democracy lashed out at Finance Minister Sigrid Kaag during a speech. The most important debate of the parliamentary year was then adjourned.
Yesterday at 21:33
Baudet said that Kaag had studied at an Oxford University college known as spy school. St Anthony’s College, Oxford, according to the Forum leader, was “little more than, in effect, a training institution for Western secret services”. After Kaag’s indignation, President of the House Vera Bergkamp intervened. When Baudet still went on about Oxford, Kaag and the rest of the government resigned.
It is unprecedented for the entire government to leave during a speech by a group leader. During the debate, the budget for the coming year is discussed.
After a suspension, only Prime Minister Mark Rutte returned. He called Baudet’s accusations against Kaag “unacceptable”. The chairman then asked Baudet to take back his words. He said he didn’t intend to.
Bergkamp then decided to cut him off. A broad majority supported the chairman’s decision. However, there was criticism of the government’s departure.