The Swedish politician was left speechless for a full 26 seconds after he was accused of raising his salary.
Staffan Tjörnhamar, deputy chairman of the municipal council in Nortelje, an hour’s drive north of Stockholm, was overwhelmed by the news. SVT channel that local politicians voted to raise wages by nearly 30 percent on Monday.
The vote on the new compensation model – the board’s first action since being elected – will, among other things, raise chairman Bino Drummond’s salary by SEK 23,400 ($3,340) to 110,400 kroner ($15,800) a month.
This move caused a strong reaction from the local opposition.
Mr Drummond declined to answer questions about his salary and instead referred his deputy, Mr Tjörnhamar.
“Your only allowance is a month’s salary as a cleaner – isn’t there any other use for that money?” – asked the SVT reporter.
Mr. Tjörnhamar stood staring blankly for almost half a minute.
“Everything is a matter of priorities,” he said as a result.
SVT reports that the board has since retreated from the decision.
“It went too fast and I’ve come to the conclusion that the decision needs to be reconsidered,” Mr Drummond said in a text message to the broadcaster.
The 26-second silence put NSW Water Minister Kevin Anderson’s recent short circuit to shame.
Mr. Anderson was on the grill Sydney 2GB radio presenter Ben Fordham on funding for the Warragamba Dam wall.
Earlier this month, the NSW government declared the $1.6 billion project “critical public infrastructure” and Premier Dominic Perrottet and Treasurer Matt Keane expressed hope the federal government would agree to share the funding.
But according to 2GB, the government has already decided that it will not help finance the project.
Mr Anderson said he had not heard of it when the claim was put to him during the interview.
Fordham also claimed that Mr Perrotte had not raised the issue with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
Mr Anderson was left speechless after being told the project had been raised “zero” times despite the two leaders meeting at different times last week.
He paused for almost 10 seconds before answering.
“Well, that’s the point Anthony Albanese and the Dom Perott case in terms of what they’re talking about,” he said.
In 2011, he was the then leader of the opposition Tony Abbott infamously flashed a 24-second death stare at Seven News reporter Mark Riley after he was asked about his comments about the death toll in the war in Afghanistan.
– from NCA NewsWire
Originally published as The politician freezes for 26 seconds after being asked about a salary increase