He was elected to the Folketing in 1973. 1978-1979 he was Minister of Public Works in the Anker Jørgensen cabinet. In 1998 he became speaker of the Folketing defeating his Social Democrat rival, Birte Weiss, after a drawing of lots.
He served until his sudden death in the Copenhagen apartment of his mistress Mariann Fischer Boel, who was at the time Minister for Foods and Agriculture. She publicly announced the death after she had talked to his wife. She continued her work and went on to become the European Commissioner for Agriculture.
- Copy of official death announcement from Fischer Boel.
- Discussion of how the press handled the case.
- Description of funeral, with other details.
- Ikke uden overraskelser
- Se og Hør skrev d. 27. marts 2008 at Ivar Hansen døde i hendes lejlighed, og at de 2 havde haft et forhold kørende i årevis. Se og Hør skriver: "Fischer Boel forsøgte i første omgang at skjule, hvad der var sket, men det slap naturligvis ud. Hun var ellers på spring til at overtage formandsposten Folketinget, men da omstændighederne omkring Ivar Hansens død kom frem, var der bred enighed om, at det næppe var passende længere. I dag sidder Mariann Fischer Boel langt fra Danmark som EU-kommissær i Bruxelles."
| Minister for Public Works
30 August 1978 – 26 October 1979
Jens Risgaard Knudsen
| Speaker of the Folketing
26 March 1998 – 11 March 2003
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