Finns Party MP Juha Väätäinen has said on Thursday that he would apologise to the party’s chairman Timo Soini for critical remarks that he made on Wednesday, and for comments on Soini’s health and weight.
Väätäinen, who was recently removed from his position as chairman of the party’s Helsinki local organisation, criticised Soini for not backing him in his dispute. He also remarked on Soini’s state of health, which he said is affected by obesity and an excessive work load.
In a television interview on Thursday Väätäinen said that he had not intended to disparage Soini’s appearance – he was simply concerned about his health in a situation in which he is under heavy pressure.
"I expressed my concern in the wrong way. I will present my apologies to Timo Soini in the afternoon."
In the interview on the breakfast show of the MTV3 television network, Väätäinen did not relent in his criticism of other fellow party members, saying that the party is trying to shut him up.
"Just before this broadcast I was called by [Finns Party parliamentary group leader] Pirkko Ruohonen-Lerner who said that I should shut up and be loyal to the parliamentary group. I will not agree to this. I have my own identity and my rights as a Member of Parliament.
Timo Soini himself said on Thursday that the matter between Väätäinen and himself had been dealt with.
"An apology was made and accepted. The matter is over", Soini said.