Stockholm’s Grand Hotel looks over the harbour in central Stockholm. Photo: Alexandar Vujadinovic/Wikimedia Commons
Stockholm hotel apologies for hosting right-wing gala
Published: 06 Nov 2016 15:22 GMT+01:00
- Farage: ‘I’ll be back in 2019 — and probably with a pitchfork’ (05 Nov 16)
- Who’s invited to Swedish nationalists’ far-right gala? (04 Nov 16)
- Swedes join in huge online protest against Farage event (04 Nov 16)
“In hindsight we can state that we never should have taken the booking,” the hotel said in a press release issued on Sunday. “We can also state that we should have broken the contract as soon as we we understood that this arrangement was going to create strong reactions, both among our guests and our co-workers.”
The anti-immigration Sweden Democrats party hired the upmarket hotel, which boasts views over the Royal Palace and Gamla Stan, for its “European Freedom Awards” on Friday evening.
As soon as the news became public, the hotel faced a storm of angry protests on Twitter, with thousands protesting by giving it one-star reviews on its Facebook page. Meanwhile, hotel staff gave anonymous interview criticising the event, and several customers cancelled event contracts.
Mattias Karlsson, who leads the Sweden Democrats in Sweden’s parliament, called the hotel’s apology “bizarre” and “hypocritical”.
“The strong left-liberal forces that you find in Stockholm and on Twitter have huge power over companies and institutions in a way that is disturbing,” he said.
“Freedom of assembly and freedom of expression are the cornerstones of democracy. Even if you dislike someone’s opinions, we are on a dangerous path if you start to campaign so that someone else does not get hold meetings and speak.”