Copenhagen lord mayor resigns after sexual harassment cases

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Copenhagen’s lord mayor is stepping down after 11 years in the job and and as deputy leader of Denmark’s governing Social Democratic Party following admissions that he sexually harassed women during social gatherings.

“I have decided to resign as mayor so that my party has plenty of time to find my replacement ahead of the next local elections,” Frank Jensen said.

Jensen has publicly apologized for his behavior, which is reported to have occurred over the past 30 years. He said alcohol was often involved.

The next municipal elections in Denmark are to held in November 2021.

Jensen, 59, a former justice minister, said the pressure had become too great in recent days.

On Sunday, he had got the backing of the party in Copenhagen and told a news conference that he wanted to continue as mayor. But later in the day, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, the leader of the Social Democrats, said: “It is obvious that we in the Social Democrats have problems. That needs to change now.”

Jensen told a news conference on Monday that the decision to step down was his own and he was not pressured to resign. Frederiksen said on Facebook that it was “the correct decision.”

In August, a popular female television host told an award ceremony that during a Christmas party 12 years earlier, an man whom she didn’t name had made sexual suggestions to her and added that he could destroy her career.

Since then, scores of examples of sexual harassment have surfaced in Denmark in all walks of life, including in politics.

Jensen has been lord mayor of Copenhagen since 2009. The position has been held by his party since 1938. The lord mayor is the political head of a administrative system presided over by six other mayors.

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