ANPDennis Wiersma (VVD)
NOS News•today, 18:21•Edited today, 18:37
Minister Dennis Wiersma is stepping down, he announced in a statement on Twitter. “With pain in my heart, I am stepping down as Minister for Education. I would like to thank all the lovely people I have met recently.”
Wiersma was under fire for transgressive behavior, for which he previously apologized. There have been new complaints about him in recent days. At a symposium about 25 years of practical education, he is said to have verbally and physically intimidated two people. He then decided to leave.
He shares an extensive letter on Twitter to explain his departure.
He admits that he has been “too sharp at the table”. He finds it difficult to accept when people say that something is not possible. “Then I keep pushing, sometimes too fiercely. It becomes clear from the letter that he did not always recognize himself in the negative stories in the media about his behavior, but that he stops anyway. “I now notice in my work that I have ended up in a situation where it no longer matters what happened and what my tone and intention was.”
Wiersma says that he was so keen to change things in education. “Sometimes you have to break through walls and dare to knock firmly on the door of sacred houses.”
Prime Minister Rutte calls the departure of the VVD minister extremely regrettable. “As a cabinet, we are losing someone who put his heart and soul into education. I am grateful to him for that.”