Integration Minister Birthe Rønn Hornbech saying nothing.
Foto: Finn Frandsen

Integration Minister Birthe Rønn Hornbech saying nothing.

News in English

PM's fatwa keeps minister silent

Integration Minister Birther Rønn Hornbech is keeping mum about her reactions to a telling-off from the prime minister.

News in English

Integration MInister Birthe Rønn Hornbech is keeping a demonstrative silence regarding her reactions to Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen's three-line whip on differences within the Liberal Party and government.

Birthe Rønn Hornbech - do you agree with the prime minister that peace should return to the government?

"Speak to your colleague," was the Integration Minister's only response to politiken.dk following a meeting in the Integration Committee.

But your prime minister says that there should be no more slip-ups from you.

"Speak to your colleague - he was here," she retorted.

The minister was referring to a journalist from the TV2 station who was given a 46-second live 'interview' with the minister this morning, during which she uttered not a word.

Back up
Sources within the ruling Liberal Party have been taken aback by the minister's silence and handling of the media.

"She should at least support the prime minister and then say she has no comment. You can't just stand in front of the television and say nothing," said one Liberal Party source.

Fatwa
At his weekly news conference yesterday, Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen issued a fatwa to his Integration and Welfare ministers Birthe Rønn Hornbech and Karen Jespersen, laying down the law as to what is acceptable or not in government.

Last week, the two ministers went head to head when Jespersen reacted negatively to a six-month old white paper suggesting that extremist Muslim groups should be engaged in order to preempt radicalisation.

Birthe Rønn Hornbech responded by saying that Jespersen's attack was 'strange' given that her own civil servants had been party to the report.

Unacceptable
At his news conference, Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he had spoken to both ministers and made it clear that government is a collective business. "A minister makes statements on behalf of the government and it is therefore unacceptable for a minister to begin a public argument that raises doubts about the government's policy," he said.

At the same time, he made it clear that he had been guaranteed that it would not happen again.

"And my clear expectation is that there will be no repeats, and so I won't be doing anything further in connection with the issue - this time," the prime minister concluded.

Edited by Julian Isherwood

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