A row is brewing in Germany over who will sit where in parliament , as no party wants to be seated next to the far-right Alternative for Germany party (AfD).
ivals alleged AfD MPs try to put them off with “vulgar” and “lewd” comments and make “sexist” jokes at the expense of female MPs.
Coalition talks are under way as Olaf Scholz attempts to form a new government, but it seems negotiations are just as fraught over seating.
The Free Democrats (FDP), who have sat next to the AfD for the past four years, say they have had enough.
They are demanding to switch places with Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), but it seems they do not want to sit there either.
“It’s no fun sitting next to the AfD,” said Stephan Thomae, a senior FDP MP. “Our female MPs often have to listen to vulgar, sexually suggestive comments from the ranks of the AfD.”
The AfD has been accused by rival parties of seeking to disrupt parliament with a series of stunts, including inviting anti-lockdown protesters into the chamber during the pandemic.
However, more is at stake than just an excuse to get away from unfriendly neighbours.
“It’s also a question of symbolism,” said Mr Thomae. “The FDP is a party of the centre, while the CDU considers itself right-of-centre.”
The German Bundestag sits in the French style, in a horseshoe arrangement with the parties placed to the left or right of the speaker’s chair according to political leanings.
Telegraph Media Group Limited