Wednesday 21 February 2018

Denmark's prime minister resigns

Helle Thorning-Schmidt has resigned as prime minister of Denmark
Helle Thorning-Schmidt has resigned as prime minister of Denmark
Liberal Party leader Lars Loekke Rasmussen reacts to news of his bloc's election victory (Polfoto/AP)

Denmark's prime minister has resigned after the centre-right opposition won parliamentary elections.

Helle Thorning-Schmidt - who is also quitting as leader of the centre-left Social Democrats - has now presented her resignation to Queen Margrethe at the royal palace.

This paves the way for Liberal Party leader Lars Loekke Rasmussen to start talks on forming a Cabinet, thanks to the success of the anti-immigration Danish People's Party.

The Danish People's Party, which wants to limit the European Union's influence over the Scandinavian country, made large gains in Thursday's elections and overtook Lars Loekke Rasmussen's Liberal Party as Denmark's second-largest party in terms of the percentage of the vote.

A centre-right bloc, led by Mr Loekke Rasmussen, a former prime minister, secured the 90 seats necessary for a majority in parliament. Ms Thorning-Schmidt's centre-left bloc won just one seat less in the 179-seat parliament.

To form a government, Mr Loekke Rasmussen needs to include Kristian Thulesen Dahl's Danish People's Party in talks, expected to start later.

Ms Thorning-Schmidt is married to British Labour MP Stephen Kinnock, the son of former party leader Lord Kinnock.

Press Association

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