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Norway's hard-line integration minister to stay in politics

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Norway's hard-line integration minister to stay in politics
Listhaug said she would run for parliament if that is what her party wants. Photo: Krister Sørbø / NTB scanpix
10:31 CEST+02:00
After stating earlier this summer that she might give up politics for the sake of her family, Integration Minister Sylvi Listhaug of the anti-immigration Progress Party now says she will run for parliament.
“My personal choice is also about me being involved in determining how Norway should look in the future. It is important for my children and for all those I care about. I have decided that I want to be involved in influencing developments,” Listhaug told Dagbladet. 
 
Listhaug had announced in July that she would “go through a thorough thought process” about her future over the summer. The 38-year-old told VG at the time she was considering leaving politics for the sake of her family. She also said that the amount of abuse she receives on social media was also beginning to weigh on her.
 
On Friday, she told her party that she will make herself available to run for parliament, assuming she gets the Progress Party’s nod to represent Oslo in next year’s parliamentary elections. 
 
The minister does not currently sit in parliament but is considered a fairly safe bet to get her party’s nomination. 
 
“I have received a lot of inquiries from politically-engaged people, both from within the party and from ordinary people outside the party, who have asked me to continue. I find it difficult to disappoint those who have faith in me,” she said. 
 
Listhaug has advocated a hard-line approach to immigration and asylum that has resulted in Norway's asylum numbers plummeting by 95 percent. Her policies have made her simultaneously one of Norway’s most admired and controversial politicians. 
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