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Flemish far-right MP caught red-handed at lockdown party

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Far-right Flemish MP Dries Van Langenhove was among several people caught red-handed by police at a party in Ghent, organised despite the coronavirus lockdown.

Last Thursday, police received complaints about loud music and came to check the site, which they ended up raiding after residents first attempted to deny there was a party going on.

Van Langenhove, an MP for the far-right Vlaams Belang party, was among the 12 people attending the gathering, according to several reports in Flemish media.

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The youngest MP in the federal parliament now faces a €250 administrative fine, which, if he refuses to pay could see him lose his parliamentary immunity and risk prosecution.

The founder of VB’s ultra-conservative youth wing, Schild & Vrienden, has been a fierce critic of the government’s coronavirus policies, often expressing his views on Twitter and singling out government virologist Marc Van Ranst.

Van Langenhove, 27, is currently facing an anti-racism laws investigation over content posted in secret online groups, revealed by investigative news program Pano.

He is not the first politician caught flouting Belgium’s lockdown rules, which for the moment only allow visits of the same four people to the same household, with social distancing observed.

In March, police in Izegem demanded apologies from the Flemish town’s mayor, who said there was “nothing wrong” with attending a street party police were forced to break up.

In May, the daughter of Flemish MP Goedele Liekens was among 14 people police found barbecuing in the city of Sint-Truiden, where a local councillor was also present.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

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