Netherlands Politics

View of Binnenhof, the seat of the Dutch government in The Hague, Netherlands, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, where the Cabinet was set to meet Friday amid strong speculation that Prime Minister Mark Rutte's government will resign to take political responsibility for a scandal involving child benefit investigations. (AP Photo/Mike Corder)

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his entire Cabinet resigned Friday to take political responsibility for a scandal involving investigations into child welfare payments that wrongly labeled thousands of parents as fraudsters.

In a nationally televised speech, Rutte said he had informed King Willem-Alexander of his decision and pledged that his government would continue work to compensate affected parents as quickly as possible and to battle the Coronavirus.

“We are of one mind that if the whole system has failed, we all must take responsibility, and that has led to the conclusion that I have just offered the king, the resignation of the entire Cabinet,” Rutte said.

Not long after delivering his statement, Rutte got on his bicycle and rode to the king’s palace in a forest in The Hague to formally inform the king. Dutch television showed him parking his bike at the bottom of steps leading into the palace and walking inside.

The move was seen as largely symbolic.

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