Martin Kolberg (born 24 February 1949) is a Norwegian politician for the Labour Party. He served as the party secretary from 2002 until 2009. He was elected to the Parliament of Norway in 2009 and since 2013 serves as leader of the Standing Committee on Scrutiny and Constitutional Affairs.

Early life and education

Kolberg was born in the city of Drammen, Buskerud. He is the son of railroad worker Kjell O. J. Kolberg (1921-) and homemaker Ruth Utengen (1921-2006). After finishing primary school, Kolberg attended Oslo Technical College, but later dropped out. He since completed training as an electrician. He held a variety of jobs, including mailman, Lab assistant at a cable wire factory and also as assistant at the local shoe-factory.

Political career

Kolberg served as a deputy representative in the Norwegian Parliament from 1977 to 1981. He served as a deputy representative for the second time from 2001 to 2005, and met regularly from 1 October to 19 October 2001 while Thorbjørn Jagland was Minister of Foreign Affairs. In total he met 144 days as a deputy.[1]

From 13 July 1995 to 25 October 1996, Kolberg was state secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister under the third cabinet Brundtland. When the new cabinet Jagland was announced, it became clear that the new prime minister, Thorbjørn Jagland, who was also Kolberg's childhood friend, had discarded him as state secretary. Kolberg reacted with anger and frustration, and the media portrayed the matter as Jagland firing his best friend. Jagland stated that "Martin had wanted to work for Gro [Harlem Brundtland] ... I really wanted him to work as party secretary". To Kolberg's reaction, Jagland stated: "I followed an agreement between us, and I thought he did not want the job. I am very surprised by his reaction". Jagland further stated that it was all a misunderstanding, because he Jagland thought that Kolberg did not want to work with "the Norwegian House".[2] Five days later, Kolberg was appointed state secretary in the Ministry of Defence, where he remained until the cabined withdrew on 17 October 1997, following the defeat in the 1997 election.[1]

Since 2002 he has been the party secretary of the Labour Party. In 2009 he will step down, choosing instead to stand for election again, this time with the prospect of winning a seat of his own. Several people have been suggested for the vacant position as party secretary, including Geir Axelsen, Rita Ottervik, Karl Eirik Schjøtt-Pedersen, Raymond Johansen,[3] Trond Giske[4] and Bjarne Håkon Hanssen.[5]


  1. ^ a b "Martin Kolberg" (in Norwegian). Storting. 
  2. ^ "- Trodde ikke han ville ha jobben". Dagbladet (in Norwegian). Retrieved 11 February 2009. 
  3. ^ "Martin Kolberg på topp for Buskerud Ap" (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 13 December 2008. Retrieved 13 February 2009. 
  4. ^ "Kan bli partisekretær" (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 15 December 2008. Retrieved 13 February 2009. 
  5. ^ "Foreslår Hanssen som partisekretær" (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 17 December 2008. Retrieved 13 February 2009. 
Party political offices
Preceded by
Solveig Torsvik
Party Secretary of the Labour Party
Succeeded by
Raymond Johansen