Lenita Toivakka to quit as minister as tax scandal hits reputation

The minister for foreign trade and development, who last November was the subject of a tax-planning storm involving her family business, ”mutually agreed” with new NCP leader Petteri Orpo that she will not hold a ministerial post in the new cabinet.

Lenita Toivakka
Outgoing foreign trade and development minister Lenita Toivakka said she did not want the negative publicity surrounding her to infect the National Coalition Party. Image: Yle

Foreign trade and development minister Lenita Toivakka is to leave the government, the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat reported on Tuesday.

Following discussions with her new party leader Petteri Orpo, the National Coalition Party MP will not be taking a ministerial post when Orpo announces his reshuffled cabinet on Tuesday, she said.

Toivakka told the paper that she and Orpo spoke by phone on Sunday, when they reached a mutual decision for her to step down. She will stay on as a backbench MP.

Last November Toivakka became the subject of a tax avoidance storm, after it emerged she had been on the board of her family business when it set up a holding company in Belgium. Toivakka subsequently apologised for misleading parliament though insisted she had not been involved in the day-to-day operations of the company.

Speaking to Helsingin Sanomat Toivakka said she did not want the negative publicity that resulted from the revelations to taint the National Coalition Party.

A poll last month claimed that Toivakka was the minister with the least public support, with her then-fellow NCP ministers Alexander Stubb and and Sanni Grahn-Laasonen following close behind.

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