VVD faction supports Rutte

12th June 2007, Comments 0 comments

12 June 2007, AMSTERDAM – The Liberal VVD faction has pledged its support for Mark Rutte. This emerged on Tuesday after the faction meeting. The meeting was called in response to Rutte's statement on Monday that faction members were welcome to leave the faction if they were unable to limit their public comments to their own areas of responsibility. Rita Verdonk has also voiced her support for the tack Rutte has chosen for the faction.

12 June 2007

AMSTERDAM – The Liberal VVD faction has pledged its support for Mark Rutte. This emerged on Tuesday after the faction meeting. The meeting was called in response to Rutte's statement on Monday that faction members were welcome to leave the faction if they were unable to limit their public comments to their own areas of responsibility. Rita Verdonk has also voiced her support for the tack Rutte has chosen for the faction.

This means that MPs may no longer publicly criticise the political course their party is taking. Nor may they criticise party colleagues openly. Any comments to the media should primarily concern their own portfolio.

"MPs should only be talking about their own topics in the media," Rutte said in the Telegraaf on Monday. "That ground rule is set in stone and I am sticking to it. Rita is spokesperson for education and youth care, so those are the only topics on which she should be commenting in the media. Anyone who cannot put their own ego aside in favour of the liberal vision can get out." These words were not very well-received in the party. Today's meeting was called to discuss the statement.

Even Verdonk voiced support for Rutte's political course after the meeting. Last week she had said in an interview that Rutte was "not right wing enough."

"The line is clear. I am always true to my word," she said on Tuesday after the meeting. Insiders say the matter was discussed for only a few minutes.

The faction members say they have not been prohibited from talking in the media. MP Frans Weekers said that he is permitted to talk to the media about VVD policy in general terms, even though this is not his portfolio. Criticism on the party's political direction or the leader must be discussed in the closed circle of the faction however.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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