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German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen resigns to pursue EU’s top job

The 60-year-old said she ‘will ask for the confidence of the European Parliament’.

Ursula von der Leyen (Francisco Seco/AP)
Ursula von der Leyen (Francisco Seco/AP)

German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen has said she is resigning from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet to focus on becoming the next head of the European Commission, the top job in the European Union.

Ms Von der Leyen tweeted that “tomorrow I will ask for the confidence of the European Parliament. Regardless of the outcome, I will step down as Minister of Defence on Wednesday in order to serve Europe with all my strength”.

The EU Parliament is expected to vote on Tuesday on whether to confirm her as European Commission president.

Ms Von der Leyen, 60, was the surprise last-minute compromise candidate nominated by the leaders of EU nations earlier this month to replace Jean-Claude Juncker.

PA

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