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MTV: Several women accuse prominent SDP advisor of inappropriate behaviour

Political advisor and economist Tage Lindberg told MTV he regrets his behaviour but explained that his actions were attempts at humour or sarcasm.

Photo shows a microphone on top of a SDP-branded box.
File photo of the stage at an SDP election event. Image: Juha Kemppainen / Yle
Yle News

Several female members of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) have told commercial broadcaster MTV about their experiences of inappropriate behaviour by a prominent advisor within the party, Tage Lindberg.

The women recounted to MTV how Lindberg offered them training or mentoring in a way that they often found inappropriate or distressing. The first case reported by MTV dates back to about 10 years ago, while the most recent is from last spring.

In one case, a young woman told MTV that Lindberg swore her to secrecy about the mentoring he was offering to provide. Another three women told the broadcaster that Lindberg had asked them direct questions about their sex lives.

Lindberg told MTV he regrets his behaviour but denied the allegations and explained that his actions were attempts at humour or sarcasm, or he justified them in other ways. He is not alleged to have committed any crimes.

Several of the women interviewed by MTV described Lindberg's sense of humour as crude and old-fashioned.

The SDP has launched its own investigation into Lindberg's behaviour, and that process is still ongoing. The party is still led by outgoing Prime Minister Sanna Marin, although she said she will step down as party chair following April's election defeat.

Among other roles within the SDP, Lindberg worked as a special advisor to Jutta Urpilainen who served as Finance Minister between 2011 and 2013. He also worked as a special advisor to the SDP's ministerial group and as a campaign manager during elections.

Economic association begins separate investigation

Lindberg has also held the position of labour market and social policy expert with the Finnish Business School Graduates (Suomen Ekonomit in Finnish), an influential organisation for graduates and students of economics and business administration.

The association said on Tuesday that it would be conducting its own probe into Lindberg's behaviour, with executive director Jari Elo telling Finnish news agency STT that they wish to establish if Lindberg behaved in similar ways within its working environment.

Elo added that the organisation will also seek to clarify if Lindberg can continue in his current role, or as a member of the association at all.

Lindberg will step away from his role with the organisation while the investigation is ongoing.

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