Bjarne Håkon Hanssen ‘blunders’ on / News / The Foreigner

Bjarne Håkon Hanssen ‘blunders’ on. Ex Labour (Ap) Minister of Health Bjarne Håkon Hanssen is out of quarantine, alive, and at the centre of a new political PR blunder. This time, children are involved. Hanssen left the government towards the end of last year to start a new job as partner in high-priced PR firm First House. Not content with living in an apartment that “happened” to be located in the same building as and owned by his future employer, he had an affair with the former Assistant Director General at the Ministry of Health.

bjarne, haakon, hanssen, pr, scandal, criticised, affair, spain, first, house, inside, information, minister, health, labour, party



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Bjarne Håkon Hanssen ‘blunders’ on

Published on Sunday, 1st August, 2010 at 17:25 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 2nd August 2010 at 13:23.

Ex Labour (Ap) Minister of Health Bjarne Håkon Hanssen is out of quarantine, alive, and at the centre of a new political PR blunder. This time, children are involved.

Bjarne Håkon Hanssen
Bjarne Håkon Hanssen
Photo: Arbeiderpartiet/Flickr


Blundering Bjarne

Hanssen left the government towards the end of last year to start a new job as partner in high-priced PR firm First House.

Not content with living in an apartment that “happened” to be located in the same building as and owned by his future employer, he had an affair with the former Assistant Director General at the Ministry of Health.

Hanssen’s decisions were highly questionable, according to some at the time. Whilst Hanssen’s wife must have wondered about his marital ethics, Centre Party (Sp) politician Per Olaf Lundteign said he was shocked by Hanssen’s lack of political ones.

He accused him of abusing his former post to earn money from insider knowledge, calling it “a huge blunder”.

Ap veteran and lawyer Ingjald Ørbeck Sørheim raised questions as to Hanssen’s political morals, saying he found his decision to sit on the inside of the government with a view to earning money from it afterwards to be problematic.

Hanssen then went to Spain for a holiday with his mistress, and was subsequently put in quarantine for six months, forbidding him from dealing with specific issues relating to his former post.

Plundering Bjarne

Whilst he was still a minister, Hanssen was involved in discussions about how the government was to fund kindergartens with taxpayers’ money.

On Thursday, NRK revealed he’s now given advice to Espira, a company that runs private kindergartens. In his job at First House, Hanssen had advised them how to lobby the government to prevent a new legal proposal limiting the amount of profit owners could take out.

He rang Labour Party representative on the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Family and Cultural Affairs (familie- og kulturkomite), Arild Stokkan Grande, for advice.

Thundering Bjarne

“I’m not going to be a door-opener. I won’t be calling contacts either in Parliament or the government apparatus,” he said last year.

To be generous, one could call it a memory slip; to be critical, “it’s almost unbelievable that a former minister uses [his] knowledge and contacts to directly work against the policies of a government he was a member of less than a year ago,” writes Stavanger Aftenblad.

“Hanssen has shown that his public assurances aren’t worth a thing,” according to Aftenposten.

Perhaps he should go back to kindergarten.



Published on Sunday, 1st August, 2010 at 17:25 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 2nd August 2010 at 13:23.

This post has the following tags: bjarne, haakon, hanssen, pr, scandal, criticised, affair, spain, first, house, inside, information, minister, health, labour, party.





  
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