Finnish bribery MP resigns from Regional Council

Ikka Kanerva has announced that he will step down as chairman of the board of the Regional Council of Southwest Finland following a conviction for taking bribes from property developers.

The former minister for Foreign Affairs and current National Coalition Party MP has also stepped down from the council completely, claiming the move was entirely his decision.

Kanerva resigned on Monday (April 23), a day before rumours suggested that the council would itself decide on measures to take against the chairman.

Kenerva, who has been a member of the council since 1995, was last week found guilty of accepting bribes from the Nova Group in an alleged exchange for his influence on the zoning decisions of the board.

The court, which handed Kanerva a 15-month suspended sentence, also suggested that he should be removed from the board, although, as the MP is still to appeal, such an assertion does not yet have the force of law. His membership of the Turku City Council could also be in jeopardy, but he has so far said he will continue in his role as an MP.