Politics

Littorin Breaks Silence Amidst Scandal

Former Labor Market Minister, Sven Otto Littorin, finally broke his silence after resigning from his government post last week and then being accused by a tabloid newspaper of buying sex in 2006. Answering questions from daily broadsheet Dagens Nyheter by e-mail, Littorin said that a 30-year-old woman, who told tabloid Aftonbladet she sold sex to him, was either mistaken or making it up.

Asked why he did resign, Littorin gave the same reason he gave at a press conference during the Almedalen week of political events: he couldn't handle the media pressure and was trying to protect his family.

Littorin, who is currently tied up in a bitter custody battle with his former wife, announced on Wednesday that he would resign from his post as labor minister. He then cited "personal reasons" for leaving and criticised the media for harassing his children.

The statement was initially met with understanding from Littorin's colleagues as well as many in the media but the situation changed on Thursday when Aftonbladet, one of Sweden's biggest tabloids, published a story claiming to have evidence of a crime. The newspaper claimed that they had been promised an interview with Littorin where he would answer to the allegations but instead he chose to resign.

Aftonbladet initially refused to release any details about the alleged crime. The newspaper finally released the information Saturday, quoting a 30-year-old woman claiming to have sold sex to Littorin on one occasion.

Later on Saturday Prime Minister Fredirik Reinfeldt told several newspapers that he had spoken to Littorin and that he denied the allegations. The announcement and scandal come as Reinfeldt and Littorin's conservative Moderate Party begins campaigning in earnest for re-election in September's general election.

There will be no investigation since the statute of limitations for buying sex is only two years.