Breaking – Seafood minister Skjæran sacked in reshuffle

Bjørnar Skjæran

Norway Fisheries and Seafood Minister, Bjørnar Skjæran, has lost his job in a major government reshuffle, it was confirmed today.

After much media overnight speculation his replacement is confirmed today as another senior Labour politician, Cecilie Myrseth, who comes from the same Troms region.

Cecilie Myrseth

Skjæran, a former dairy farmer,  who has been in post since Labour and the Centre party formed a new government two years ago. It is reported he was reluctant to go and the move has gone down badly among Labour members in his home area.

But prime minister Jonas Gahr Støre has been anxious to change the shape of the government to  boost its  flagging popularity, which probably has more to do with the rise in the cost of living rather than the salmon tax. He has made six senior changes.

The coalition suffered a heavy defeat in last month’s municipal elections, suggesting a Conservative return to power in two years time.

Labour’s performance was the worst in almost a century while the Centre Party lost its much of grip in fish farming communities where traditionally it has been strong.

Some Labour allies of  Skjæran  have described his removal  as  “incomprehensible”.

A Conservative party led alliance is strongly tipped to win the next general election in 2025 but its leader and former prime minister, Erna Solberg, has her own political problems over a  scandal involving her husband’s share dealings when she was in power.

Despite Skjæran’s backing for the salmon tax which may be down to party loyalty more than anything else, he has been seen as an effective  minister and a supporter of aquaculture, backing moves to expand cod and offshore farming.

He has also worked to improve post-Brexit fishing relations and seafood export rules between Norway and the UK.

Cecilie Myrseth (39), who is replacing him, is a psychologist by profession with, it would suggest, limited experience about the seafood industry although she was previously Labour spokesperson on fishing and is from the Troms region, a fish farming area.

She was elected to the Storting, Norway’s parliament,  in 2017.

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