In the interview with Radio Bremen’s regional magazine “buten un binnen” Meyer-Heder said that it was “about the content and nothing else.” He continued: “If we want to get things moving and we agree with the AfD, why not?” He is “more afraid of the left-wing members of Bremen’s citizens than of some people in the AfD.”

The magazine posted an excerpt of the interview online on Friday morning. There was then criticism from, among others, the Bremen SPD, but also from the Bremen CDU Bundestag member Thomas Röwekamp. At midday, the complete video of the conversation, recorded the day before, was posted online.

Röwekamp explained the interview excerpt: “That is the opposite of my belief – no cooperation with this anti-constitutional party, never and at no level and on no factual issue.”

SPD state leader Reinhold Wetjen demanded that the CDU must “put its relationship with the AfD and Alliance Germany in order in Bremen too.” By referring to “supposedly politically neutral policy, one cannot escape from the affair.”

Alliance Germany is a small party. After the general election in May 2023, the Bremen right-wing populist voters’ association Bürger in Wut merged with it, so that Alliance Germany – unlike the AfD – is now represented in the citizenry.

The state executive committee spokeswoman for the Bremen Greens, Alexandra Werwath, called it “consequent that Carsten Meyer-Heder is resigning after the attempted alliance with the AfD.” However, the damage has been done and shows “that there are forces in the CDU who want to prepare and normalize cooperation with right-wing radical forces.”

Left-wing state spokesman Christoph Spehr called on the Bremen CDU to “clearly distance itself from cooperation with right-wing forces such as the AfD, but also Alliance Germany in the Bremen citizenry and to reject the shift to the right in Germany.”

For the Bremen FDP, its state leader Thore Schäck said: “Credibility looks different.” The CDU Bremen had “obviously lost its compass,” he explained.

The deputy CDU state chairwoman Yvonne Averwerser thanked Meyer-Heder “expressly for the important impulses of his work over the last few years”. There is an effective board of directors that will continue the business until the regular election party conference in May.

The editorial team of “buten un binnen” has already summarized some of Meyer-Heder’s other statements. Accordingly, he distanced himself from the Thuringian AfD leader Björn Höcke. He is “an asshole – everyone knows that.” It went on to say: “Why is he still in the AfD? Of course that destroys the whole AfD.” Nobody can pretend that Höcke doesn’t exist. “But it’s not all right-wing radicals in the AfD, that’s not enough.”

Meyer-Heder had been state chairman of the CDU since June 2019 and was also its top candidate in the state election a month earlier. At that time, the CDU became the strongest force in Bremen for the first time, but did not come into government. Meyer-Heder no longer stood as the top candidate for the 2023 state election. At the beginning of September he also announced that he would not run again as state leader of the party next year.