Former State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops. (Suzanne Koelega file photo)
THE HAGUE--Member of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament for the Christian Democratic Party CDA and former State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops is leaving Dutch politics.
Knops will become chairman of the board of the Dutch Industry for Defence and Security. With this switch, Knops, a former military officer, said he would return to the area of defence and security. He started his political career in 1998 as a member of the Municipal Council of Horst aan de Maas and later became Alderman of that municipality.
In 2005, Knops was elected to the Second Chamber for the first time. He became State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations in 2017 and even briefly held the position of Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations during the sick leave of Kajsa Ollongren.
When a new government took office last year, he did not get a minister or state secretary position. Knops, who was the campaign manager in the 2021 parliamentary elections for the CDA would have loved to continue as minister or state secretary. “But that's how life goes sometimes,” he said at the time.
Knops got into the news last year through the publicity of the newspapers NRC and De Limburger which accused him of favouritism surrounding the purchase of a piece of land in the municipality where he had been an alderman. Knops took the newspapers to court and eventually the papers had to rectify.
About his departure from politics, Knops stated that it had been a great honour to contribute to a better Netherlands on behalf of his party, together with many others. “With the same passion, I will continue this mission, be it in a different role,” he said.
Knops recognised in an interview on the Dutch radio in 2021, just before his tenure ended, that he had a somewhat impatient character and that he had been eager to get the things done in order to make things better for the people on the islands.
Asked in the interview which experience he would never forget during his tenure as state secretary, Knops mentioned a visit that he made in 2021 to Aruba and Curaçao during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Thousands of people are depending on food parcels. I visited someone who lived in a house with nothing else than a bed in it. The resident drank water from the well in the yard. That is happening within our kingdom. And that needs to be tackled,” he stated.