German Health Minister Ulla Schmidt has resigned from her party’s election campaign team after she caused an uproar by taking an official car to Spain. The Social Democrat candidate for Chancellor, Frank Walter Steinmeier, said Schmidt would stay off the team until the issue was cleared by the federal accounting office.
Schmidt says she is confident that the documents she has submitted will prove she did nothing wrong: “I offered to step down from the team until such a time as the questions have been answered. The strength of the SPD is important to me. I want Mr Steinmeier to become the Chancellor of the Republic and I will do everything possible to ensure that the election campaign is not put at risk.” The row over her use of the car – which was subsequently stolen in Alicante – put both her and Steinmeier in the awkward position of explaining the matter just as their party launched its campaign for the general election in September.