No special favours for Social Democrats "Golden Boy"
A parliamentary group has decided not to grant Thomas Bodström, former minister of justice and prominent Social Democrat parliamentarian, a six-month leave, news agency TT reports.
Bodström had applied for a six month paternity leave to move with his family to the US which has resulted in criticism that he is not talking his job as a parliamentarian seriously. The leaders of his own party had already turned him down but the final decision came on Wednesday afternoon when a parliamentary group, led by the speaker of the parliament Per Westerberg, also said no.
“The group leaders are of the opinion that the leave should not be approved since the main reason for the leave is not paid parental leave. Partial leave of absence cannot be approved,” Westerberg said in a press release.
In an interview with newspaper Aftonbladet Bodström said he was disappointed at the decision and that he is unsure whether he should return to Sweden or stay in the US.
“I have a difficult decision to make. It is a shame. The decision sets a precedent that will have consequences since there aren’t enough young people to want to get involved in politics,” he said. “This will complicate things for those who want to combine family and politics.”
But Bodström can’t be granted any special favours according to the Social Democrat’s parliamentary group leader Sven-Erik Österberg. If they granted the leave they would open up the doors for everyone to apply for partial leave of absence for all kinds of reasons.