The board of D66 admits that in the past there have been unsafe situations for female employees. But there is no evidence that a prominent member of D66 has been guilty of sexual harassment or abuse of power. This appears after independent examination of the BING agency, reports D66.
At the end of last year, reports came out of a party member who intimidated young women. An anonymous whistleblower posted a story online in which D66 strategist Frans van Drimmelen was accused of intimidating and manipulating women within the party. The new party leader, Sigrid Kaag, ordered the case to be investigated.
The investigation shows that there is no evidence of the allegations against the D66 prominent. Nineteen people have come to the party with their own experiences about “insecurity within the party”. Five of them were under the age of 25 at the time of those events.
The researchers found that flirtation was mainly during drinks and congresses, with men getting off to young women and sometimes creating sexual and extramarital relationships. Sometimes there was cross-border behaviour.
Not supported by governance
It also becomes clear that some employees who reported the insecurity did not feel sufficiently supported by the D66 board afterwards. According to them, those who have acted demonstrably wrong have no or insufficient consequences of their behaviour. Nor has it had any consequences for their political careers, even though it is true for whistleblowers.
The author of the anonymous December paper did not make himself known to the researchers, which prevented her experience from being investigated. Van Drimmelen has always said not to recognize himself in the accusations.
“ The report does not show to me that in our association there is a structurally unsafe environment. Thats not how I know our party,” says party leader Kaag in a response to the ANP.
“ The fact that Bing concludes that in the past reports not the safe environment has been offered, D66 attracts,” says Party Chairman Anne-Marie Spierings.
The party adopts the recommendations of the researchers and adopts former D66 Minister Winnie Sorgdrager as chairman of the Responsible Behaviour Team, which is to draw up new guidelines and complaints arrangements.