Rødt leader Bjørnar Moxnes meets the press outside Rødt’s office in Oslo at midday to comment on the theft of sunglasses in Gardermoen.
– I want to start by saying that I am deeply sorry and want to apologize to everyone involved. This is a matter that now casts a shadow over Rødt’s politics and many are now disappointed in me because I didn’t come straight back with the glasses and go into detail right away, Moxnes begins.
He himself believes that it was stupid to react the way he did, but he says he panicked and was afraid of harming the party.
When asked by the press if he had confidence as leader of Rødt’s party, Moxnes replied:
– I count on trust in Rødt and that depends on the leadership and party members. It’s up to them to assess whether I have confidence.
– Do you think people have confidence?
– I find that people are disappointed and shake their heads. But for now, I think I have support as party leader. But no one has claimed leadership of the party, it is up to the party to decide.
When asked what happened when he didn’t return to the store, Moxnes reiterated to Dagbladet that he was afraid of harming the party by becoming a major problem and that he might cause trouble for many others.
– I was just scared, then I did something fundamentally wrong. It’s so stupid. I should have done what any sane person would do: go back to the store.
– Why didn’t you tell the whole truth right away?
– I should have told the whole truth from the start, says Moxnes and adds that he is ashamed of it too.
– There is no point in not saying everything from the start.
He points out that the police did nothing wrong in this case, it was just him.
– Do you think you have the right character to lead the party?
– I don’t know exactly, but I want to listen to what the party says and the reactions that come from it. I’m not hanging on to the stool, but that’s for the party to decide. I understand very well that many people are disappointed.
Responding to further questions from Dagbladet on why he has not considered resigning, the party leader replies that many thoughts have come to his mind over the past 24 hours.
– What I mean is that the party must be allowed to express its views on the matter, whether it concerns them and, if so, in what way. It depends on the members and party authorities.
– First time
– Incomprehensible, embarrassing, embarrassing, Moxnes himself thinks he would say if a political opponent had done the same.
Moxnes was in Gardermoen with his girlfriend. According to Moxnes, the girlfriend was unaware of what happened in the store.
When asked if he has ever done something similar, he cites the accident where he walked away from a coffee bill in Sandnes.
– This was also covered by the press and it was something I regretted, says Moxnes, and he emphasizes that it was his card.
– Did you intend to steal the sunglasses?
– No, it was never my intention, but I removed them. So I broke the law, Moxnes told Dagbladet.
– People believed your first explanation yesterday. Are you afraid that people won’t believe you when they realize that’s not the whole explanation?
– I should have said everything at once. It was an understatement to say that I panicked, but that’s what I should have done. I think that obviously undermines a lot of people’s faith in me, and it’s well deserved. I can’t get away from it.
I didn’t say everything
– It is absolutely true that I bought a pair of sunglasses in a store in Gardermoen without paying. This was not the intention and it is very embarrassing, Moxnes said in a statement to Dagbladet on Friday, via the party’s press secretary.
On Friday afternoon, it emerged that police believed Moxnes had acted intentionally – something he himself denied.
In an interview with VG and in a Facebook post Friday evening, Moxnes explained that instead of returning the glasses when he discovered the mistake, he made another “mistake.”
– I should have walked straight in and looked the store staff in the eye. Instead, I removed the message and put the glasses in my luggage.
Earlier Saturday, several colleagues from Moxne’s party commented on the incident. Mímir Kristjánsson described the incident as a “total haze in the head” in a Facebook post.
– For a party leader to take a pair of sunglasses out of a store in Gardermoen and put them in his luggage has to be one of the most bizarre political scandals we’ve seen in recent years (and the competition is fierce ). It’s just a complete head fog.
– Stupid by Moxnes
When asked by Dagbladet if he finds it stupid that Moxnes did not tell the whole truth to the RB newspaper, which was the first to cover the affair, Kristjánsson replied “yes”.
– It was stupid that he didn’t immediately tell the whole story to the newspapers, yes.
He still does not believe that media management is the main issue in this case.
– He did something illegal, said Kristjánsson.
All those who commented on the case of their colleagues in the Storting and Rødt’s leadership said that they still have confidence in Moxnes as party leader.
“Hardcore coffee specialist. Unable to type with boxing gloves on. Devoted internetaholic.”