In Ghent, the police invaded a house last week, because the music was very loud and it was suspected that a lockdown party was going on. And that turned out to be the case, because there were 12 people present, which is still prohibited. One of the partygoers was the far-right student leader and Vlaams Belang MP Dries Van Langenhove. The 27-year-old Shield & Friends CEO will be fined 250 euros. If he does not pay it, the House can consider his parliamentary immunity. At Vlaams Belang, there is initially a sharp reaction to Van Langenhove’s misstep.
The news about Van Langenhove at the lockdown party was announced by the Mediahuis newspapers. Since the beginning of the lockdown, the young prince of Vlaams Belang has been very critical of the corona measures taken by the government to limit the spread of the virus. The youngest Member of Parliament in Belgian history, for example, criticizes Marc Van Ranst, one of the virologists who has advised the government in response to the corona crisis, on the assembly line.
“Multicultural police state”
When the Ghent police arrived at the lockdown party in question last Thursday, the residents first denied that there was a party going on. However, the agents decided to enter the property.
Dries Van Langenhove turned out to be one of the 12 attendees and could not give a valid reason to be at the meeting. The Schild & Friends boss would not have attempted to invoke his parliamentary immunity during the preparation of the official report. Striking: a few days ago, Van Langenhove called the city of Ghent a “multicultural police state” on Twitter.
At the beginning of the corona crisis, Bert Maertens (N-VA), Mayor of Izegem and Flemish Member of Parliament was still caught at a street party.
Pay fine or discussion in Chamber
If Van Langenhove now pays the amicable settlement of 250 euros, the matter is completed. If, on the other hand, he refuses, the General Prosecutor of Ghent will write to the parliament. The House must then decide whether Van Langenhove’s parliamentary immunity will be lifted. In that case it would be up to a special committee to decide.
Van Langenhove has not reacted to his slip via traditional or via social media.
A judicial investigation into possible violations is currently under way against Van Langenhove. This happened in response to the Pano-reportage about Shield & Friends. It was read in private chat groups of the student association that Van Langenhove and his peers made far-reaching racist, anti-Semitic and sexist statements. The MP would have committed offenses against, inter alia, the racism law, but still maintains his innocence to this day. The research is currently in a final phase.
According to Vlaams Belang, Van Langenhove committed “an error where light should not be passed on”. The VRT reports this. Van Langenhove is said to have already paid the fine.