“What I want to avoid and what we should be extremely careful about is not to connect crime automatically to skin colour or religion or anything else,” Löfven added.
Åkesson went on to state that his argument was regarding immigration policy and its link to crime, not skin colour or religion. The populist leader said: “I want to hear Stefan Löfven take responsibility and say ‘I was wrong’.”
Finland’s broadcaster YLE has speculated that the change in stance could cause a crisis in the Swedish coalition government, as the Social Democrat’s coalition partners, the Greens, are fiercely pro-mass migration.
Earlier this year, Green MP Isabella Lövin rejected the idea of any limits on asylum seeker applications after the centre-right Moderate Party proposed a cap.