Beatrice Ask

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Beatrice Ask
Sveriges justitieminister Beatrice Ask.jpg
Minister for Justice
In office
6 October 2006 – 3 October 2014
Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt
Preceded by Thomas Bodström
Succeeded by Morgan Johansson
Minister for Schools
In office
4 October 1991 – 7 October 1994
Prime Minister Carl Bildt
Preceded by Göran Persson
Succeeded by Ylva Johansson
Member of the Swedish Riksdag
for Stockholm Municipality
Assumed office
4 October 1988
Personal details
Born Eva Carin Beatrice Ask
(1956-04-20) 20 April 1956 (age 58)
Sveg, Sweden
Political party Moderate Party
Occupation Politician
Religion Church of Sweden

Eva Carin Beatrice Ask (born 20 April 1956) is a Swedish politician and a member of the Moderate Party. She has been a member of the Swedish Riksdag for Stockholm Municipality since 1988. She served as Minister for Schools from 1991 to 1994 and as Minister for Justice from 2006 to 2014.


Ask was born in Sveg, Jämtland County. She earned a high school diploma in Akron, Ohio, United States, in 1974, and finished her upper secondary school in Sweden in 1976.[1] From 1978 to 1979 she studied international economics at Uppsala University but never graduated.[1] Instead she began working for the Moderate Party and the Moderate Youth League, before being elected the first female chairman of the youth league in 1984. She was re-elected in 1986 and served a second term until 1988, when she was elected city commissioner with responsibility for schools (Swedish: skolborgarråd) in the city council of Stockholm.

Following the 1991 election, after which Carl Bildt became Prime Minister, Ask was appointed Minister for Schools and Adult Education in the new cabinet. Together with Per Unckel, Minister for Education, she took part in shaking the very foundation of the Swedish education system. Among other things, education vouchers were introduced which allowed children to choose independent schools without paying any fees.

Since the loss in the 1994 election, Ask has served as party spokesman of several issues. From 1994 to 2006 she was member of the Swedish parliament.

Following the 2006 election, after which Fredrik Reinfeldt became Prime Minister, Ask was appointed Minister for Justice in the new cabinet. Historically, she is one of very few non-jurists to hold the post of Minister for Justice in Sweden.

She has received much criticism[by whom?] in her role as a Minister of Justice, most notably for her part in the change in legislation regulating the National Defence Radio Establishment, as well as her proposal to send lavender-colored envelopes to suspected purchasers of sexual services, with the head of the Swedish Bar Association Anne Ramberg calling the latter "a non acceptable outlook on mankind. It is a return to medieval times".[citation needed] In response to the Swedish Police introduction of racial profiling and indiscriminate searches, she has caused much embarrassment to an erstwhile liberal country by implying that the victims were overly sensitive and nothing more.[citation needed] An open letter to this minister describing the more recent public uproar has received worldwide attention and was even carried in the New York times,[2] written in opposition of police actions in Stockholm.

In January 2014, she was criticized[by whom?] for sharing a satirical website article about legalized marijuana killing scores of people in the US and tying it to her anti-drug stand as a youth politician.[citation needed] Her press secretary later told the Aftonbladet newspaper that the minister had all the time been aware that the article was satirical.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Ask was formerly in a relationship with Moderate Party politician Christer G. Wennerholm, with whom she has one child. She has a second child from another relationship.[1]


External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Gunnar Hökmark
Chairman of the Moderate Youth League
Succeeded by
Ulf Kristersson
Political offices
Preceded by
Göran Persson
Minister for Schools
Succeeded by
Ylva Johansson
Preceded by
Thomas Bodström
Minister for Justice
Succeeded by
Morgan Johansson