Sex scandal strikes Progress Party
“This is a real blister that I will be marked with for a long time, and it is definitely a lesson.”
It was a humble Bård Hoksrud who met NRK outside his home in Telemark this morning.
He was very keen on laying low after TV2 revealed yesterday that the representative had bought sex from a prostitue in Riga, Latvia over the weekend.
“We have ended up in place we shouldn’t have, and I apologize as strongly as I can,” he said.
It is illegal for Norwegians to buy sex, both nationally and internationally, and policemen in Telemark report that Hoksrud will be fined 25,000 kroner, about $4,300.
TV2 has explained that their journalists followed Hoksrud to Riga because they had previously received information that the politician was going to break Norwegian law.
Hoksrud denies to NRK that he was planning to buy sex when he got on the plane to Riga. “I have not done this before, and I am so sorry that it happened, not least for my family; my wife and kids.” Hoksrud is married and has two children.
“But can you honestly say that you have not bought sex before?” asked one NRK reporter.
“I don’t know…but the challenge now is that it’s always true that people will try to come up with more things,” says Hoksrud.
When asked if he had been on such trips before, he answered that he has on past trips gone to strip clubs.
“It was a long time ago, but when you are out with the boys on trips and things, it can happen that you do things like that. But this I should not have done.”
Several times in the course of the interview, Hoksrud emphasizes that the trip to Riga was under private management.
“Everyone [who went on the trip] has done this in their free time, and it has nothing to do with the Progress Party or the Youth Progress Party.”
He travelled to Riga with three members of the Progress Party Youth. According to TV2, at least two of them visited the night club “Brilliant Gentlemen’s Club” during the course of their stay.
“Why did you travel to Riga with young members of the Progress Party?” asked an NRK reporter.
“It was because they are my friends, and I think it is sad that the media is making this seem like a politician-specific trip,” answers Hoksrud.
One of those who was along for the ride, 21-year-old Adrian Ness Løvsjø, confirmed that this was a trip among friends.
“We were on a normal vacation with friends and only wanted to relax after the election,” he told NRK Thursday morning.
This morning it was announced that Hoksrud is withdrawing from all positions he holds in the Progress Party.
The reason is that the events in Riga became a police matter at home in Norway.
Police in Telemark have already completed their investigation of their case, and the politician has been fined.
Yet Hoksrud will probably not give up his elected seat in Parliament.
He thinks it is too early to comment on whether he wants to seek reelection in the elections two years from now.
“It will be up to others to decided. But I’ve gotten a lot of feedback on it, and the vast majority is positive,” he said.
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