Finland's ex-PM Marin to join Blair think tank, leave parliament

Socialdemocrats Party Congress

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finland's former Prime Minister Sanna Marin, who narrowly lost an election in April and stepped down from the leadership of her party last week, plans to leave parliament and join the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, she said on Thursday.

Based on her new position, Marin is formally asking permission to resign from parliament, her centre-left Social Democrats party said. The London-based policy think tank is led by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

"I feel that this assignment is such that it will benefit the whole of Finland as well," Marin told reporters.

She did not rule out taking part in future elections or applying for top European jobs but said she has no such plans at the moment.

Marin was the world's youngest prime minister when she took office in 2019 aged 34, attracting attention around the globe and helping lift Finland's profile at a turbulent time.

After leading the country through COVID-19 lockdowns and the ensuing economic turmoil, she became a vocal supporter of Ukraine after Russia's invasion and successfully led Finland to end its military non-alignment in favour of NATO membership.

She chaired her party's conference for the last time on Sept. 1 before stepping down as party leader.

(Reporting by Anne Kauranen; Editing by Terje Solsvik and Frances Kerry)