29 Nov 2023 at 05:40
Gom van Strien deliberately did not report the fraud accusations made against him to PVV faction leader Geert Wilders. The senator himself said this to De Telegraaf. Van Strien was appointed as a scout in the cabinet formation on Friday, but resigned on Monday after the accusations.
Wilders had suggested Van Strien himself. He was allowed to do this because the PVV had become the largest party with 37 seats. After NRC wrote last weekend about accusations of fraud against the senator, Van Strien denied this, but decided to resign from his duties as a scout on Monday.
Van Strien is said to have decided in January not to say anything about the accusations against Wilders after consultation with PVV Senate chairman Marjolein Faber. The senator said this in the interview with De Telegraaf. “She asked: what are you going to do? I kept her informed. She did not communicate this to Geert either. In my naivety I did not report it to Geert, but I should have done so.”
The senator says he spoke to Faber again when he heard in March about the report filed by Utrecht University, his former employer. “Our conclusion was: we are not going to bother Geert with that. First let’s wait and see what happens with the report. Then nothing happened and it was never discussed again.”
Faber did not respond to questions from De Telegraaf about the matter. Van Strien himself maintains that he is innocent and says that there is a “political settlement”. He says he will not resign as senator.
He expects to become chairman of the PVV Senate faction if Faber moves to the House of Representatives. “That will continue as usual. I am elected by the Senate faction, that is not up for discussion. I made a political mistake, but you do not resign as a senator for that.”