Danish prime minister Mette Frederiksen 'not quite herself' as she opens up on Copenhagen assault

Mette Frederiksen (AP)
Mette Frederiksen (AP)

The Danish Prime Minister has said she is “not quite myself” after being attacked on the streets of Copenhagen.

Mette Frederiksen was assaulted in the Danish capital by a man who pushed her over and hit her on her arm on Friday, which left her with mild whiplash.

Speaking in a TV interview on Tuesday, she gave few details about the assault, but said: "It was very intimidating when someone crosses the last physical limit you have. There is some shock and surprise in that.”

"As a human being, it feels like an attack on me," she added in the 10-minute-long interview.

"But I have no doubt that it was the prime minister that was hit. In this way, it also becomes a kind of attack on all of us."

"I would rather have a Denmark where the prime minister can bicycle to work without being worried.

“I am Mette at my core, but I am the country's prime minister. Thus, an institution that you must not attack like the police."

A 39-year-old Polish man living in Denmark was arrested and held in pre-trial custody until June 20 on preliminary charges of violence against a person in public service.

In Denmark, preliminary charges are one step short of formal ones but allow authorities to keep criminal suspects in custody during an investigation.

Authorities have not disclosed a motive for the attack, but have said they do not believe it was politically motivated.

The unidentified suspect reportedly praised Ms Frederiksen in court as "a really good prime minister," and investigators suspect he was under the influence of drugs and intoxicated at the time of the incident that happened just before 6 pm on Friday.

Ms Frederiksen has not appeared in public since the attack and has not participated in public party events.

The 46-year-old is leader of Denmark's Social Democrats, the biggest party in Denmark's coalition government.

She became prime minister in 2019 after taking over as leader of the centre-left party four years earlier, making her the youngest prime minister in Danish history.