ANPMinister Dennis Wiersma for primary and secondary education (VVD)
NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 15:15
Education Minister Dennis Wiersma (VVD) joined the weekly VVD party meeting this morning to discuss the complaints about his behaviour. Afterwards, party chairman Sophie Hermans did not want to say anything about the outcome of the consultation.
“We thought it was important to discuss this. It is about a safe working environment and also about things that happened at the VVD party,” she said. The persistent reports of Wiersma’s behavior prompted the faction to discuss the subject today. Partly at the request of Wiersma himself, he was present at some of them.
The VVD MPs then continued their meeting without him. Sources speak of “a huge discussion”. As a result, the group meeting ended. Hermans: “Dennis left at some point. I want to discuss it with him first.” Then she walked away from the cameras and journalists. It is also not yet clear what conclusions Wiersma will draw from the meeting.
Been a jerk
The public discussion about the minister started at the end of April, after a report in De Telegraaf that, according to anonymous officials, he regularly “went crazy”. Wiersma then admitted “that he has sometimes been too sharp, too fierce and too demanding” towards his officials. He announced that he would also discuss his behavior with former colleagues.
At the beginning of May, Wiersma announced on Instagram that former VVD employees have also indicated that they have experienced his behavior as unpleasant and hurtful. Wiersma said about this: “I have indeed been a jerk. I have wronged people with that and I am very sorry.”
Last Friday, another report about Wiersma’s behavior appeared, this time in NRC. This included his anger outbursts and profiling urge, and the additional pressure on employees and others around him.
Wiersma has been Minister for Primary and Secondary Education since 10 January 2022. In the previous Rutte cabinet, he was briefly State Secretary for Social Affairs and Employment. Before that, he was a member of parliament for the VVD for four years.
Before his political career, Wiersma was project manager youth unemployment at the Ministry of SWZ, chairman of the trade union FNV Jong and vice-chairman of the student union LSVb.