|Member of the Norwegian Parliament
1 October 2005
8 August 1963 |
|Political party||Progress Party|
|Spouse(s)||Ingvil Smines Tybring-Gjedde|
|Alma mater||Loyola University Chicago
University of Denver
NATO Defense College
Christian Tybring-Gjedde (born 8 August 1963) is a Norwegian politician for the Progress Party, and former senior civil servant. He has been a member of the Norwegian Parliament since he was first elected in 2005, and he held the position as leader of the Progress Party's Oslo chapter from 2010 to 2014.
Tybring-Gjedde identifies himself as a classical liberal, particularly on economical issues, advocating limited government intervention, reducing public spending and has called for large scale tax reduction. More conservative and outspoken on social and cultural issues, Tybring-Gjedde has stoked controversy on numerous occasions. He believes immigration policy to be the single most important political issue facing Norwegian society.
Early life, education and work
Christian Tybring-Gjedde was born in Oslo to businessman and wholesaler Harald Tybring-Gjedde (born 1930) and Irene Mathilde Falch (born 1930). Harald was the owner of a large office supply company founded by his father Carl in 1918, until selling the family out of the company in 2001. He was raised in Sandvika in the Bærum municipality near Oslo's west-end, attending primary school at Jong Elementary school from 1970 to 1976, and upper secondary school at Kristelig Gymnasium from 1976 to 1982.
An active water polo player (playing as goalkeeper), he was granted an athletic scholarship to study in the United States in 1984. He studied at the Loyola University Chicago from 1984 to 1988, and achieved a bachelor's degree in political science. From 1988 to 1990 he studied at the University of Denver, Colorado, achieving a master's degree in international studies. He later attended the NATO Defense College in Rome from 1996 to 1997. He won the Norwegian championship with the Frogner water polo club in 1992, and has been picked out for the national water polo team.
Between the years 1993 to 2005 he was employed in the Norwegian Ministry of Defence, from 2002 as Assistant Director-General, including three years with the Norwegian delegation to NATO in Brussels. As a senior civil servant, he had to quit his job to stand as a candidate for the 2005 parliamentary election, while only willing to do so if nominated for his party's third spot in Oslo.
Tybring-Gjedde has been a member of the Progress Party since 1979, when he was attending secondary school. He was elected to his first public office in the 2003 local elections for the Oslo city council, while having been deputy chairman of the party's Oslo chapter from 2001 until then. He held the local office until 2005 when he was elected to parliament, having secured the party nomination after Geir Mo dropped out from the contest for the third place on its Oslo list (the top two spots taken by Siv Jensen and Carl I. Hagen). He was reelected to parliament in 2009 and in 2013 on a more secure second spot only behind party leader Jensen. For his first two terms he served as a member of the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, and since 2013 he has been a member of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence.
Tybring-Gjedde was the leader of the Progress Party's Oslo chapter from 2010, until announcing his withdrawal in 2014. Following the Progress Party's government entrance in 2013, Tybring-Gjedde has been outspoken in his belief that the party has compromised too much on the immigration issue. As the only Progress Party member of parliament, he voted against the government's finalised immigration agreement with the Liberal and Christian Democratic parties, and later wrote a letter to the Progress Party leadership requesting to be allowed to vote according to his own persuasion on immigration-issues in parliament; dissatisfied with the response, he claimed he would "give up" immigration politics. He did not attend the party's 2014 national convention, considering he had "no tasks" there, and announced he would publish a book later that year. The conflict has prompted media speculation that he may be on his way to leaving the party, although he has rejected this himself.
Since his second parliamentary term, Tybring-Gjedde has become profiled for his outspoken criticism of Norwegian immigration policy. Demanding immigrants to adjust to Norwegian society, he stated that immigration to Norway should be "dramatically reduced", proposing to only give temporary residence permits to asylum seekers, and to withdraw residence permits for asylum seekers "going on vacation" back to countries they have reported to have fled from. Critical of Islamic influence and lack of "freedom values", he has compared the hijab to Ku Klux Klan and Nazi outfits, considering it an "Islamic uniform", and said that Norway should take a "tough stand" against Islamisation "happening before our eyes". As member of the Norwegian parliament, in 2006 he nominated Islam-critical filmmaker Ayaan Hirsi Ali for the Nobel Peace Prize.
He gained widespread publicity and controversy in August 2010 when he co-authored an op-ed in Aftenposten titled "Dream from Disneyland", where he strongly criticized what he described as the Labour Party-led immigration policy. The feature said that the immigration was threatening to "tear Norway apart", and that the Labour Party had stabbed the Norwegian culture in the back. He subsequently claimed to represent the majority of Norwegians on the issue, claiming to be "mainstream in Norway" and "saying what you hear at parties". Met with accusations of holding "racist views", he has described such accusations as "frustrating and as far from the truth as possible".
In his speech at the 2011 Progress Party national convention in May he devoted much time to attacking the conditions he described that ethnic Norwegians were living under in the multicultural suburb of Grorud Valley in Oslo. The Labour Party's Jonas Gahr Støre denounced the speech as "bordering on the hateful". The Labour Party's youth organisation AUF filed charges of racism against Tybring-Gjedde for the speech and for subsequent statements to the media claiming that immigrant boys are more hot-headed than Norwegian boys, but the police eventually dropped the charges as "no criminal offense".
He sparked a wide public debate about Norwegian culture in 2012/13 after asking Culture Minister Hadia Tajik and Integration Minister Inga Marte Thorkildsen to define Norwegian culture, and if they believed it to be important to protect. Their responses led him to accuse them of "denying Norwegian culture".
In 2014 he released his book discussing immigration politics titled Mens orkesteret fortsetter å spille ("While the orchestra continues playing"; alluding to a scene in Titanic). In the book, he described how he believed Norway would face economic and cultural ruin in just a few years time due to too high immigration, poor integration and high welfare costs. In order to control Norway's borders more tightly, he called for reconsidering Norway's ratification of the United Nations Refugee Convention by Article 44, believing its establishment in 1951 to have been designed for an entirely different time than the modern migrant situation. He also suggested to dissolve the modern asylum system, and transport all incoming asylum seekers to an international centre to have their applications processed.
Tybring-Gjedde has stated that he is opposed to Norwegian membership of the European Union. He has proposed for Norway to challenge the European Economic Area and the Schengen Agreement, and potentially consider other forms of cooperation.
A member of the pro-Israel parliamentary caucus Friends of Israel in the Parliament of Norway, Tybring-Gjedde has made appearances in pro-Israel demonstrations, and has criticised Foreign Minister Børge Brende for being "unbalanced" and "naive" in his approach to the conflict in Gaza. He has called for rejecting any pressure to follow Sweden's move in 2014 of recognising Palestine prior to an agreement has been reached between the two parties in the conflict. When Mads Gilbert was denied entry to Gaza through Israel the same year, Tybring-Gjedde voiced his understanding of Israel's decision, stating that the country had the full right to deny Gilbert entrance. His fierce defence of Israel and rhetoric on Islam has led him to be compared to Dutch politician Geert Wilders by the Norwegian Centre Against Racism.
In other issues Tybring-Gjedde has voiced opinions contradicting his party's official policy. In response to the conflict in Ukraine, Tybring-Gjedde has criticised Western countries for too strongly condemning Russia's actions, and has called for the use of more caution towards Russia as well as to help Vladimir Putin "to save face".
He has also voiced his scepticism of sending Norwegian soldiers to Iraq to train Iraqi soldiers against ISIL, fearing that doing so would increase the risk of terrorism in Norway, as well as not leading to peace and democracy in the region. Previously however he had called for Norway to join the United States' coalition against ISIL. He has proposed for Norwegian citizens joining ISIL to be put on trial for treason on the same line as Norwegians having fought for Nazi Germany during the Second World War.
Tybring-Gjedde is currently married to his second wife Ingvil Smines, who was also his childhood sweetheart from their time at Kristelig Gymnasium. They re-acquainted after his election to parliament in 2005 and got married in Rome in 2009. They have four children combined with previous marriages. Besides his former marriage, he had a Pakistani cohabitant for almost two years during his time as a student in Denver.
He is currently estranged from his parents after a dispute over his divorce from his first wife. He is reported to have forfeited millions of NOK from the family business due to this. According to him, he is financially cut off from his original inheritance, although his father refuted this in 2013. He has said that he has not met or spoken to his father for several years, and that he is open about his family having "many issues".
In December 2011 it was reported that Tybring-Gjedde had gone on sick leave due to threats. He has later publicly related about becoming sick due to heated hostility towards him in the media, harassment and death threats, requiring police protection at times, as part of a backlash following the 2011 Norway attacks. His wife has spoken out against him being scapegoated and picked out by the media for his views. Diagnosed with stress syndrome, he has experienced epileptic seizures and episodes of amnesia.
- Tybring-Gjedde, Christian (2014). Mens orkesteret fortsetter å spille. Cappelen Damm. ISBN 9788202453831.
- "Christian Tybring-Gjedde (Oslo Frp)". TV 2 (in Norwegian). 16 August 2005. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- NTB (6 November 2012). "Frp vil ha skattekutt på 50-100 milliarder kroner". Aftenposten.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 5 February 2013.
- Ramnefjell, Geir. "Den siste kulturkriger". Dagbladet.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 5 February 2013.
- "Tybring-Gjedde gir ut bok: – Innvandrere er privilegerte". TV 2. 15.11.2014.
- "Den brysomme Frp-mannen". Dagbladet. 12.11.2014.
- "Tybring-Gjedde, Christian (1963-)". Stortinget.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- "Spåmannen". Dagbladet: Magasinet. 11.01.2013.
- "Vannpolo og løssnus". Universitas. 25.09.2013.
- Aftenposten aften – Frogner tok vannpologullet (9.6.1992, p.26)
- "Christian Tybring-Gjedde". Store norske leksikon. 05.12.2014.
- Jenssen, Grethe Kielland (29 June 2009). "- Vekk med særbehandlingen". Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (in Norwegian). Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- "Hagens høyre hånd kan bli vraket". VG. 16.11.2004.
- "Klar for personkrig". VG. 04.12.2004.
- "Geir Mo trekker seg fra stortings-kamp". VG. 14.12.2004.
- "Anti-immigrant Progress Oslo head resigns". The Local. 07.01.2014.
- "Tybring-Gjedde trekker seg som Frp-leder". VG. 06.01.2014.
- "Tybring-Gjedde vil fristilles i innvandringssaker". VG/NTB. 11.03.2014.
- "Tybring-Gjedde gir opp innvandringspolitikk". NRK. 31.03.2014.
- "Tybring-Gjedde med bok". Dagsavisen. 04.07.2014.
- "Politisk flyktning". Dagens Næringsliv. 12.03.2014.
- "Tybring-Gjedde blir i politikken". P4. 17.11.2014.
- Mauno, Hanne (3 March 2010). "– Hijab er som Ku Klux Klan". Dagsavisen (in Norwegian). Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- "Frp-politiker sammenligner hijab med Ku Klux Klan". Verdens Gang (in Norwegian). 3 March 2010. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- "Drapstruet filmskaper foreslått til Nobelprisen". BA. 15.01.2006.
- Andersen, Kent; Tybring-Gjedde, Christian (26 August 2010). "Drøm fra Disneyland". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). Retrieved 27 August 2010.
- Bakke Håndlykken, Tora (27 August 2010). "Tybring-Gjedde: - Jeg representerer flertallet". Verdens Gang (in Norwegian). Retrieved 27 August 2010.
- "Sier han representerer flertallet". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). 27 August 2010. Retrieved 27 August 2010.
- Johnsrud, Ingar; Andersen, Mads A. (13 May 2011). "Frp-topp: - Innvandrergutter blir hissigere enn norske". Verdens Gang (in Norwegian) (Gardermoen). Retrieved 7 June 2011.
- Andersen, Mads A.; Johnsrud, Ingar; Grøttum, Eva-Therese; Glomnes, Lars M. (14 May 2011). "Støre slakter Frp-utspill: - Grenser til det hatske". Verdens Gang (in Norwegian) (Gardermoen). Retrieved 7 June 2011.
- "AUF anmelder Frp-topp for rasisme". TV 2. 26.05.2011.
- "Christian Tybring-Gjedde refser statsministeren". TV 2. 01.07.2011.
- Lepperød, Trond (2 February 2013). "- Vi kan ikke kle opp konene våre på den måten". Nettavisen. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
- "- Fornekter norsk kultur". Dagbladet. 12.12.2012.
- "Slik vil han stenge Norges grenser". Nettavisen. 17.11.14.
- "Frp går ut mot Børge Brende". Klassekampen. 25.07.2014.
- "Israels rett til å eksistere". Dagbladet. 17.11.2014.
- "Tybring-Gjedde om innreisenekt: – Finnes andre konflikter Gilbert kan engasjere seg i". NRK. 14.11.2014.
- "Sammenlikner Tybring-Gjedde med høyre-ekstrem, nederlandsk politiker". Dagbladet. 11.04.2014.
- "Vesten overreagerer". Klassekampen. 07.03.2014.
- "Frps Tybring-Gjedde forstår Putin". VG/NTB. 07.03.2014.
- "Tybring-Gjedde kritisk til straffetiltak mot Russland". Dagbladet. 09.09.2014.
- "Frp-profil frykter følgene av Irak-beslutningen". Dagbladet. 30.10.2014.
- "- Norge må bidra millitært for å knuse IS". Nettavisen. 15.09.14.
- "Vil behandle IS-nordmenn som landsforrædere". Dagsavisen. 20.09.2014.
- "- Christian er smart, varm og omsorgsfull, sine venners venn og min elskede". Dagbladet. 01.11.2013.
- "Christian Tybring-Gjedde sykmeldt etter trusler". VG/NTB. 05.12.2011.
- "Christian Tybring-Gjedde er syk av trusler og sjikane". NRK. 06.12.2011.
- "- Jeg er blitt trakassert, stigmatisert og drapstruet". Nettavisen. 26.03.13.