State secretary for Gender Equality, Equal Opportunities and Diversity resigns

State secretary Sarah Schlitz has told broadcaster RTBF that she will submit her resignation on Wednesday. She was secretary of state for Gender Equality, Equal Opportunities and Diversity in the federal government and has recently come under scrutiny for placing her personal logo in government communications.

Schlitz found herself in the eye of the storm last Tuesday, when it was revealed that the logo of her company appeared on the website of a subsidised organisation. Politicians are not allowed to promote themselves using taxpayers' money.

Opposition party N-VA accused Schlitz of lying about the issue in the Chamber and demanded her resignation. She apologised, after which prime minister Alexander De Croo warned that "such a thing was not to be repeated". On Tuesday, she also had to apologise because a member of her cabinet had shared a post on social media linking N-VA to the Nazis.

A vote on Schlitz's fate was planned in the House on Thursday, but she chose not to wait for that result. "When I leave this studio, I will offer my resignation to the prime minister," Schlitz told RTBF. "I made a mistake for which I have apologised, but today the controversy has taken on a damaging dimension (...) That is not why I got into politics."


State secretary for gender equality and diversity Sarah Schlitz © BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK

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