Norway PM Jens Stoltenberg works as secret taxi driver

Mr Stoltenberg said it was the first time he had driven for eight years

Related Stories

Norwegian PM Jens Stoltenberg spent an afternoon working incognito as a taxi driver in Oslo, he has revealed.

Mr Stoltenberg said he had wanted to hear from real Norwegian voters and that taxis were one of the few places where people shared their true views.

He wore sunglasses and an Oslo taxi driver's uniform for the shift in June, only revealing his identity once he was recognised by his passengers.

His exchanges with his passengers were captured on a hidden camera.

Start Quote

I'm pretty well known in Oslo, but I tend to sit in the back seat”

End Quote Jens Stoltenberg Prime minister

The footage - made in collaboration with an advertising company - has been posted on the prime minister's Facebook page and made into a film which will be used as part of his campaign for re-election in September.

"It is important for me to hear what people really think," he told Norwegian media.

"And if there is one place people really say what they think about most things, it's in the taxi."

Driving errors

Some of the passengers who appear in the film had been told to wait for the taxi - without being told who would be driving - while others were picked up randomly and from taxi ranks.

Most of them appear to realise very quickly that there is something different about their driver, with one saying: "From this angle you really look like Stoltenberg."

Another says she was lucky to meet him as she "wanted to send a letter".

The conversation turns to politics in most cases.

Mr Stoltenberg engages one passenger on education, saying: "The main point is to make sure good students have something to stretch for, and to give those who struggle extra help."

None of the passengers was charged for the ride.

Mr Stoltenberg told the VG newspaper: "I'm pretty well known in Oslo, but I tend to sit in the back seat."

Still from video Most of the passengers realise quickly there is more to the driver than meets the eye

The Labour prime minister came in for criticism for his driving, at one point jolting the car abruptly when, he said, he mistakenly applied the brake pedal on the automatic car, thinking it was the clutch.

He said he had not driven in eight years.

Mr Stoltenberg is popular in Norway, but opinion polls suggest he is lagging behind the opposition ahead of the election.

But asked by VG whether he would consider becoming a taxi driver full time if he lost the election, Mr Stoltenberg replied: "I think the country and the Norwegian taxi passengers are best served if I'm the prime minister and not a taxi driver."

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Europe stories

RSS

Features

  • PlanesTest of nerve

    WW1 fighter pilots who navigated using a school atlas


  • Pauline Borghese What the butler saw

    Scandalous tales from the British embassy in Paris


  • A baby holds an adult's fingerSmall Data

    The time when the average age of death was zero


  • League of LegendsBattle for glory

    On the ground at League of Legends World Championship's final


  • Vinyl record pressing in AustraliaVinyl vibe

    Getting into the groove with Australia's last record maker


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.