UPDATE: Timo Soini has written about the attack on his blog.
“Today, there was a terrible incident that nobody wanted or hoped for. The threatening situation quickly settled down”
“I have been to the Korso market many many times. There are always a lot of traders and, of course, politicians, among the people as they should be”
“The matter is now being handled and investigated by the authorities […] I thank the security guards for their good work”.
A man has been arrested, after trying to attack Foreign Minister Timo Soini (Blue) at an election campaign event in Vantaa on Sunday afternoon.
It happened at the Blue Reform stall in Korso, where Soini was meeting supporters, alongside other political parties who had set up tents there at the weekend market.
The man, wearing a Soldiers of Odin jacket, attempted to punch Soini, who dodged the blow. However, he succeeded in hitting a security guard over the head with a bottle before being wrestled to the ground.
“I didn’t witness it myself as I came to our tent shortly after the incident” says Blue Reform Parliamentary Group leader Simon Elo.
“It was a serious attack by a supporter of Soldiers of Odin. This is an example of where all the hate speech will lead to in the end. To hatred and violence” he tells News Now Finland.
East Uusimaa Police say they have arrested the attacker, although his motives are not clear at this time.
Soini continued meeting members of the public after the incident.
Who are the Soldiers of Odin?
The Soldiers of Odin are a far right activist group, opposed to immigration, and founded in response to the 2015 refugee crisis which saw more than 32,000 migrants arrive in Finland.
The group formed street patrols to ostensibly keep Finnish women safe from Muslim men, a move that was denounced by politicians and the police.
However, Soldiers of Odin members wearing their distinctive black bomber jackets have regularly taken part in far right protests, including on Independence Day last year where they paraded behind Nazi flags through the streets of Helsinki.