Per Jimmie Åkesson (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈjɪ̌mːɪ ˈôːkɛˌsɔn]; born 17 May 1979) is a Swedish politician and author, serving as leader of the Sweden Democrats since 2005. He has been a member of the Riksdag (SD) for Jönköping County since 2010. He previously served as leader of the Sweden Democratic Youth from 2000 until 2005.
|Leader of the Sweden Democrats|
|Assumed office |
7 May 2005
|Preceded by||Mikael Jansson|
|Member of the Riksdag|
|Assumed office |
4 October 2010
|Chairman of the Sweden Democratic Youth|
21 June 2000 – 7 May 2005
|Preceded by||Jimmy Windeskog|
|Succeeded by||Martin Kinnunen|
Per Jimmie Åkesson
17 May 1979
Ivetofta, Scania County, Sweden
|Political party||Sweden Democrats|
|Moderate (until 1995)|
|Domestic partner||Louise Erixon (2011–2020)|
Jimmie Åkesson was born in Ivetofta in Skåne County, but grew up in Sölvesborg in Blekinge County. His father Stefan is a businessman who ran a floor laying business and his mother Britt Marie was a care provider in a nursing home. Åkesson's parents divorced when he was young and he was raised primarily by his mother.
Åkesson studied political science, law, economics, human geography and philosophy at Lund University and has stated that he became interested in politics around this time. Prior to working full-time in politics, Åkesson worked as a web designer at the company BMJ Aktiv, which he co-founded with Björn Söder, the former party secretary of the Sweden Democrats.
Åkesson was a member of the Moderate Youth League, the youth wing of the Moderate Party, but left the Moderates to join the old Sweden Democratic Youth Association (the youth wing of the Sweden Democrats) in 1995, although some sources state 1994. In interviews, Åkesson has claimed that he joined the SD after many of the party's original and more hardline members had left. In 1995, he also co-founded a local chapter of the Sweden Democratic Youth Association. In 1997, he was elected as a deputy member of the party board. The SD's policies that he claims he was most attracted to at first were its view on the European Union, and its policy on immigration.
In 1998, at the age of 19, Åkesson was elected to public office as a councilman in Sölvesborg Municipality. The same year, he also became deputy chairman of the newly established Sweden Democratic Youth (Sverigedemokratisk Ungdom), and later, from 2000 to 2005, was chairman of the organization. In 2005, he defeated party leader Mikael Jansson in a party election to become the party leader of the Sweden Democrats (SD). During his chairmanship of the youth league and as party leader, Åkesson has been described and has presented himself as part of a driving force to moderate the SD's policies and image.
In the 2010 general election, the SD for the first time crossed the election threshold and entered the Riksdag, with 5.70% of the votes, gaining 20 seats. Åkesson, who was placed first on the party's national ballot, was elected as a Member of the Riksdag (MP) together with 19 of his fellow party members.
In September 2014, Sveriges Radio (SR) reported that Åkesson had spent upwards of 500,000 kronor ($70,000) in 2014 alone on online betting. The sum is more than the politician would have earned all year, after tax, reported SR. The revelation caused an uproar, both among people who view Åkesson as unreliable and those who opposed SR's decision to publish the information. Among the latter were former Green Party Spokesperson Maria Wetterstrand and Foreign Minister Carl Bildt. Åkesson himself called SR's actions an attempt at character assassination.
Following the 2014 election, Åkesson announced he would be on sick leave due to burnout. In early 2015, Åkesson was named Sweden's most important opinion leader for the calendar year 2014 by the Swedish magazine DSM in their annual rankings.
On 27 March 2015, Åkesson publicly announced that he would return to his duties as party leader for the SD, albeit initially in a somewhat reduced role, on the SVT program Skavlan, as well as in an open letter on his Facebook page.
On 9 September 2018, the SD got 17.6% of the votes (+4.7 pp), after the Social Democratic Party (28.4%, -2.6 pp) and the Moderate Party (19.8%, -3.5 pp). SD will have 62 of 349 seats in the next Riksdag.
Åkesson was engaged to Louise Erixon, a former parliamentary aid to Bjorn Soder and the daughter of former Sweden Democrats MP Margareta Gunsdotter. Erixon is currently the mayor of Sölvesborg, and one of the first Sweden Democrats to hold a local mayorship. They have a son, Nils, born 12 December 2013.
Outside of politics, Åkesson is also a musician and plays keyboard for the rock group Bedårande Barn alongside Peter London.
- (2008): 20 röster om 20 år. Sverigedemokraterna 1988–2008 ISBN 978-91-977376-0-9
- (2009): Åkesson om... Vecka 40–52 2008 ISBN 978-91-977376-1-6
- (2013): Satis polito. ISBN 9198116207
- (2018): Det moderna folkhemmet. ISBN 9789198116243
- "Invalda valet 2010" (in Swedish). Parliament of Sweden. Archived from the original on 27 September 2010. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
- Lindström, Lars (18 September 2010). "Jimmie Åkesson håller så låg profil här". Expressen.
- "Jimmie Åkesson - en kort presentation" (in Swedish). Jimmie Åkesson. Retrieved 3 October 2010.
- "EU elections 2014: 'I can hear the boots of the 1930s marching through Europe' - Telegraph". Telegraph.co.uk. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- Widfeldt, Anders (2015). Extreme Right Parties in Scandinavia. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-26589-8.
- "Swedish far-right leader: Success due to immigration backlash - CNN.com". Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- "BBC News - Hardtalk - Jimmie Akesson: Swedish immigration is 'extreme'". Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- "Sweden Democrats head hit by gambling scandal". The Local. 12 September 2014. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
- Flores, Juan (13 September 2014). "Åkesson-avslöjande väcker upprörda känslor". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). Retrieved 27 September 2014.
- Eriksson, Gustaf; Olsson, Hanna (12 September 2014). "Åkesson om spelavslöjandet: "Försök till karaktärsmord"". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 27 September 2014.
- "Jimmie Åkesson sjukskriven". Sverigedemokraterna. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
- "Åkesson sjukskriven på obestämd tid". DN.SE. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-02-02. Retrieved 2015-02-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Sidan finns inte - SD-kuriren". Archived from the original on 2015-02-02.
- "Jimmie Åkesson - Sverigevänner, Efter nära ett halvårs... - Facebook". Retrieved 1 May 2015.
- "Louise Erixon (SD) vald till kommunstyrelsens ordförande" [Louise Erixon (SD) elected as mayor]. SVT Nyheter (in Swedish). 26 November 2018. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
- Lönnaeus, Olle (26 January 2015). "Richard Jomshof blir nytt SD-ansikte utåt" [Richard Jomshof becomes the new face of SD outwards]. Sydsvenskan (in Swedish). Retrieved 16 May 2016.
- Adolfsson, Viktor (12 December 2013). "Jimmie Åkesson har blivit pappa" [Jimmie Åkesson has become a father]. Nyheter24 (in Swedish). Retrieved 16 May 2016.
- "Jimmie Åkesson och Louise Erixon separerar" (in Swedish).