Norwegian Minister for Fisheries steps down after trip to China

The Norwegian Minister for Fisheries, Per Sandberg, has resigned after breaching security protocol on holidays to China and Iran.

Per Sandberg (left) in May 2017, when he signed a protocol concerning exporting seafood to China. Photo: Nærings- og Fiskeridepartementet

Per Sandberg brought his work phone on a holiday to China in May and Iran in June without informing the prime minister’s office in advance. That led him to resign as minister on 13 August 2018.

The Norwegian government requires ministers to inform the prime minister’s office of where they travel and forbids the use of government-issued phones in countries where Norway does not have established security cooperation. That includes both China and Iran.

“On my journey to China from 20th to 28th of May 2018, I also brought my service phone, which is contrary to current guidelines in the ministry. This was incorrect,” Sandberg writes in an official answer to questions from Norwegian politician Terje Aasland.

Per Sandberg had been Minister for Fisheries since December 2015 and will be replaced by Harald Tom Nesvik.

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