Björn Schaerström is in trouble after a Twitter rant. Photo: Swedish Television

Moderates may expel politician over Twitter rant

The board of the conservative Moderate Party will determine whether local politician Björn Schaerström will be expelled after writing "inappropriate" comments on Twitter about his own party and about immigration.

"The case will be dealt with as soon as possible," Jesper Wigardt, Moderate Party press secretary, told news agency TT.

On Friday, the Moderate Party board in the Stockholm county sent a petition to the the central party board demanding Schaerström's expulsion.

Reacting to the ongoing debate about Swedish Radio's policy of impartiality during the election period, Schaerström, who represents the Moderates on the Vallentuna council in Stockholm, tweeted: "Hey stupid Zoran Ismail! Us immigration critics are NOT against immigration or immigrants! BUT WE WILL NOT F***ING PROVIDE FOR THEM!"

The tweet was addressed to comedian Soran Ismail who has taken a "timeout" from his job as sidekick on a popular Swedish Radio morning show up until after the general election in September. Ismail is a vocal anti-racist and critic of the xenophobic Sweden Democrat Party. News of his timeout prompted a heated debate about Swedish Radio's impartiality rules, which stipulate that employees and show hosts cannot publicly take a stand for or against a political party in the run-up to the election.

Schaerström has also criticised his own party and the government. He has referred to Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt as a "blind goose" and a "bluff and traitor". He also called Minister of Integration Erik Ullenhag a "big idiot" and has criticised Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt, Centre Party leader Annie Lööf and EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström.

"This will be handled promptly. The Stockholm county board will as soon as possible send a petition to the party executive, which in turn takes the final decision," Elisabeth Somp, director of communications at the Moderate Party in the Stockholm county, told newspaper Dagens Nyheter on Friday.

Schaerström said that he stood by his comments on immigration. He said: "Anyone can come here and contribute. But I'm not going to pay for it. Sweden cannot help everyone in the world."

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