A member of parliament for the far-right Swedish Democrats was arrested at the weekend after allegedly beating up a bouncer when he was refused entry to a VIP area in an exclusive Stockholm nightclub.
Erik Almqvist, 29, is accused of punching the doorman several times when he and his girlfriend had their way blocked on Friday night.
According to the Aftonbladet newspaper, the two turned up at the club in the capital’s Stureplan district after attending a traditional crayfish party. A report filed with police claims the Riksdag representative pushed the bouncer and punched him in the face before issuing several more blows. Agents from the country’s security service, Sapo, then removed Almqvist from the club before he was arrested by police and forced to submit a urine sample.
Johan Rydervarn from Stureplansgruppen, the company that operates the bar, told Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) that the politician had behaved “extremely aggressively”. “We think it’s extremely unsettling that he became so violent that the Swedish Security Service was forced to remove him from the area,” he said.
The Swedish Democrats are, however, standing by their man and disputing the bouncer’s version of events. Almqvist is claiming that the security guard in fact “jumped” him after he complained about the amount of time it was taking to get into the club’s exclusive area.
“There was no verbal altercation and not the least bit of violence from our side,” he wrote on the party’s website. In an interview with Aftonbladet newspaper, the MP also said he was going to report the club’s staff for giving false statements to the police. “They accused me of doing something I didn’t do. That’s a serious crime,” he told the newspaper.
Swedish Democrat spokesman Martin Kinnunen told SvD on Monday that Almqvist still has the full support of the party. “We have total confidence in him. We know him well and think that his account is credible,” he said.