MP Rydman resigns ‘indefinitely’ from NCP caucus over harassment allegations

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The National Coalition Party has said the matter could be revisited if the outcome of a future inquiry restores confidence in the MP.

NCP party chairman Petteri Orpo told Yle that many issues remained unresolved. Image: Silja Viitala/Yle

Deputy Wille Rydman announced his resignation from the parliamentary caucus of the opposition National Coalition Party (NCP) until further notice, following a press report reporting a police investigation into his behavior towards several women.

In an NCP press release, the party said Rydman made the decision to step down after talks with the party leader. Petteri Orpo and chairman of the parliamentary group Kai Mykkanen.

There was consensus at the meeting that Rydman’s resignation was the right move, Orpp told Yle.

“I myself had a strong belief that this was the way to go, as did the chairman of the parliamentary group,” Orpo said. “It was good that MP Rydman saw things the same way, that these things really need to be sorted out now. He agreed with that conclusion.”

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Rydman’s resignation is “indefinite,” meaning it is for an indefinite period, with the side noting that the decision may be reviewed if the outcome of a future investigation restores confidence in Rydman.

“There is a huge lack of trust, but also a lot of unresolved issues,” Orpo said.

For the time being, Rydman will also step down from positions to which he was elected by the NCP parliamentary group, such as committee seats.

Orpo: the legal and moral aspects must be clarified

According to the leader of the NCP party, Orpo, there are two distinct aspects in the Rydman case: what happened from a legal point of view, and then from a moral and political point of view, which, according to him , must also be evaluated.

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“That’s what we will do within the caucus and within the party,” he said, adding that an internal party review could determine whether Rydman could return to the caucus.

MP Wille Rydman has resigned from the NCP parliamentary group and must give up his seats on parliamentary committees. Image: Emmi Korhonen/Lehtikuva

Police: no new evidence

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) began investigating Rydman in 2020 after a 17-year-old girl contacted a sex victim helpline, claiming she had been sexually abused by men. a political figure.

She also told the helpline that the same politician harassed girls aged between 14 and 17 over a ten-year period, leading to police eventually interviewing nine women.

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However, the NBI’s preliminary investigation found that none of the events described by the women crossed the threshold to warrant further investigation.

The NCP had asked authorities to reconsider the case, but police said no new evidence had yet come to light that would warrant reopening the investigation.

Rydman declined an interview request from Yle on Tuesday, saying he would not speak to the media about it.

Rydman’s allegations ‘shocked’ NCP party members

However, several NCP party members described the details of Rydman’s alleged behavior contained in the HS article as “shocking”, with party chairman Orpo noting the potential scope, detail and seriousness of the matter.

Speaking on Yle TV1’s A-Studio news program on Monday night, NCP party secretary Kristiina Kokko said the Helsinki City Council will meet on Wednesday to discuss Rydman’s case, as he is vice-chairman of the council.

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