A senior member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats has resigned over his relationship with a 16-year-old girl.
Forty-year-old Christian von Boetticher quit on Sunday as the party’s leader in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein.
“Yes, it is true. In the spring of 2010 I fell in love with a young woman and I was together with her for several months. It was simply love,” a tearful Boetticher told reporters as he announced his resignation.
He said that he was not in a relationship with anyone else at the time.
The pair reportedly met on Facebook and exchanged messages before coming an item last year.
Boetticher’s affair with the teenager was not illegal but his choice of partner triggered complaints from some members of his centre-right party.
He was seen as the favourite to succeed Christian Democrat state premier Peter Harry Carstensen, who is stepping down at the next regional election in May.