Another Norwegian minister leaves: “She copied the thesis”


By John

Ingvild Kjerkol, Norwegian Minister of Health until this morning, resigned at the request of Prime Minister and party colleague Jonas Gahr St›re, after an evaluation committee determined that parts of Kjerkol's master's thesis were the result of plagiarism and as a consequence the minister had her qualification revoked. “I have come to the conclusion that Ingvild should resign as minister,” the Norwegian prime minister said during a joint press conference with Kjerkol.

The latter appeared visibly moved at the press conference: “Now I'm allowed to cry” she said, struggling to hold back her tears and amidst the clicks of the photographers she turned to them with a half smile “just take the photos”.

He then defended his colleague, co-author of the thesis in question, pointing the finger at the treatment given to her by the press: “My colleague is an ordinary person. You were not kind to her, shame on you for that”, he said to the reporters.

Kjerkol is the seventh person to have to resign from Jonas Gahr St›re's government and the second minister in the space of less than three months to have to do so due to a case of plagiarism of her degree thesis. In January, Sandra Borch, Minister of University and Research, resigned for the same reason, after a report from an economics and commerce student. With his decision, Prime Minister St ›re hopes to restore strength to his party, the Social Democrats, who according to polls are losing support, a year and a half after the elections.