Finland’s prime minister has apologized for attending a gay nightclub party a few weeks after a number of men claimed they were sexually abused by a group of schoolboys in the country.
However, he explained that it was his 20-year-old daughter’s decision to accompany him to the event, and that he should have been unaware of the crowd and the specific lines of what he said.
Sanna Marin, leader of the conservative Center Party, attended a party at the Hotel Valle d’Os at the end of June, shortly after a one-year state of emergency in which thousands of gay schoolchildren and teachers reported being victims of sexual and emotional abuse.
Marin spoke at the party about that crisis, and others including the recent cyberattacks on the nation’s tax authority and citizens being charged fees for scanning driver’s licenses.
But when she entered the nightclub, she was photographed next to boys celebrating their newly acquired permission to drink alcohol for the first time. Her political colleague, actor Toivo Tammemäki, posed with her too.
On Friday, Marin apologized through a spokesman.
“I was aware there were a large number of children at the party. And even if I thought it was not for me, to have had such a noisy and crowded party at the hotel, I would have done it again,” Marin said, according to The Times of London.
Her spokesman added that she’d canceled a television appearance that weekend to deal with the issue.
“The premier did a weak and amateur thing that should never have happened,” the Finnish news magazine Kauppalehti reported.
In early July, a report found dozens of boys abused by around 100 pupils in the 1980s and 90s in the southern province of Eastern Finland. Last year, the head of the school was arrested, though so far it’s not clear how the abuse led to his transfer.