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Secretary-General of Germany's CSU party resigns after threatening journalist

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By Euronews  with AFP, DPA
Stephan Mayer has been a member of the German Bundestag since 2002.
Stephan Mayer has been a member of the German Bundestag since 2002.   -   Copyright  FRANCOIS LO PRESTI / AFP, FILE

The deputy leader of Germany's regional conservative party has resigned after insulting and threatening a journalist.

Stephan Mayer said he would officially step down as secretary-general of the Bavarian CSU party on "health grounds".

But his departure comes after the 48-year-old had a verbal altercation with a journalist from the magazine Bunte.

German media say that Mayer took offence to a "clearly illegal" magazine article about his private life which mentioned an illegitimate child.

"I will destroy you. I will find you, I will pursue you to the end of your life," he told the journalist, according to Bild.  

The publisher of Bunte magazine said the threats were a "violation of the rules of the democratic game and of the political culture of our country".

On Tuesday, Mayer -- who was only appointed head of the Bavarian party in February -- said he "deeply regretted" his choice of words.

"In an interview with a Bunte journalist because of a clearly illegal article, I may have used a choice of words that in retrospect I would not consider appropriate," he said.