Famous Christian Democrat leaves party leadership over abortion controversy

1:34 min

Prominent Christian Democrat Lars Adaktusson is stepping down from the party's executive board, and sources tell Swedish Radio News he would have been pushed if he didn't jump.

Lars Adaktusson, previously a famous TV news anchor and a member of the EU parliament, says the background to his decision is the debate that arose over his EU voting record on abortion.

Last month, newspaper Dagens Nyheter revealed that Adaktusson has, while serving in the European parliament, consistently voted against the right to an abortion, or against motions condemning forced pregnancies abroad.

On Thursday, party leader Ebba Busch Thor held a press conference where she said that Adaktusson is wrong to say he had been keeping the party informed of how he was voting in the EU Parliament. She says that the general way Lars Adaktusson has handled the situation, especially during the last day, means her faith in him has been damaged. She says he has spoken to journalists rather than telling her things first.

She says it remains to be seen whether Adaktusson can continue to represent the party as their foreign affairs spokesperson.

Swedish Radio's political commentator Fredrik Furtenbach says while it might look on paper that Adaktusson has made the decision to leave of his own accord, it is possible that the Christian Democrats nomination committee had decided not to support him for another term.