Tom Van Grieken

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Tom Van Grieken
Leader of Vlaams Belang
Assumed office
14 March 2014
Preceded byFrank Vanhecke
Member of the Chamber of Representatives
Assumed office
26 May 2019
Member of the Flemish Parliament
Assumed office
2 July 2014
Personal details
Tom Jozef Irène Van Grieken

(1986-11-07) 7 November 1986 (age 32)
Antwerp, Belgium
Political partyVlaams Belang
Alma materPlantijn Hogeschool

Tom Jozef Irène Van Grieken (born 7 October 1986) is a Belgian politician who has served as Leader of Vlaams Belang since March 2014.

Early life[edit]

Van Grieken was born in Antwerp and later moved to Mortsel where he served as a municipal councillor. He studied communications management at the Plantijn Hogeschool and worked in the advertising sector prior to entering politics full time.

Political career[edit]

As a pupil and a student, Tom Van Grieken was respectively active in the NJSV and the NSV, eventually becoming National President of the NSV. Van Grieken became a member of Vlaams Blok in 2003 as a teenager and subsequently joined its successor Vlaams Belang. After his studies, Van Grieken was elected elected national president of the Vlaams Belang Jongeren, the youth wing of Vlaams Belang.[1] In September 2014, he was nominated by the party's council to become the party's new leader.[2] At the party's congress in October he ran unopposed and obtained 93% of the votes, becoming Belgium's youngest party leader ever.[3]

Although initially known as a hardliner within the party, he has since attempted to moderate the VB’s image as leader in order to break the cordon sanitaire imposed on the party, stating "There is no cordon sanitaire around our ideas, but there is about our style.” [4]

He has been a member of the Municipality Council of Mortsel since 2007 and the Flemish Parliament since 2014.[5]

Under his leadership the VB has seen an increase in public support, including finishing in second place in the Flemish region during the 2019 federal elections in which Van Grieken was elected to the Chamber of Representatives. Following the election, he became the first leader of the VB to attend a meeting with King Philippe along with the other main party leaders.[6]