The snap emerged days after the 36-year-old agreed to take a drugs test in response to footage of her dancing and singing with Finnish celebrities at another social event. The test subsequently came back negative. The latest photo was apparently taken at a party at Ms Marin’s official residence on July 10, and appears to show the two women, one of whom has been identified as 33-year-old model Sabina Sarkka, behind a desk in the PM’s office.
It was uploaded to, and then deleted from, the TikTok app – but not before it was shared by rival politician Kimmo Kautio.
Referring to the picture Ms Marin confirmed it was taken at her home – although she implied it had been taken in a toilet, not her office.
She insisted security arrangements were in place “at all times”.
She further commented: “In my opinion, the picture is not appropriate. I apologise for it.
“That kind of a picture should not have been taken but otherwise, nothing extraordinary happened at the get-together.
“I see nothing wrong with the fact that even politicians at this level have free time and we spend it with our friends.
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Finns have been split over their leader’s behaviour, with some voicing support for the young leader for combining a private life with her high-profile career, while others questioning whether her judgment would be impaired by her leisure activities.
Antti Lindtman, leader of the SDP group in parliament, offered her his support yesterday, saying: “I don’t see a big problem with her dancing with friends at a private event.”
At a time when Europe has been unsettled by Russia’s war in Ukraine, Social Democrat leader Ms Marin has faced suggestion that her partying could interfere with her ability to quickly carry out her duties if a sudden crisis hit Finland.
She responded by telling reporters: “If there were to be a crisis situation, I would know about it before midnight on a Saturday evening.”
She added that the Finnish armed forces were well equipped to anticipate any military crisis that might affect the country.
Nevertheless, Ms Marin, who became the world’s youngest serving government leader in December 2019, on Friday agreed to take the drug test, saying she had never taken drugs and that she had not seen anyone doing so at the party she attended.
She stressed her ability to perform her official duties had remained unimpaired and that she would have left the party had she been required to work.
In January Ms Marin claimed she and her fellow young female ministers had been targeted with extensive hate speech for their gender and appearance while in office.
In December 2021, Ms Marin apologised after pictures of her dancing at a Helsinki nightclub until 4am were published.