Boris Palmer has bickered with his party for years. Now he is leaving the Greens. It is the last act of an estrangement. The resignation of the mayor of Tübingen met with little opposition from the party leadership.

Green Party leader Omid Nouripour has paid respect to Palmer but has expressed no regrets. “There were reasons why we all had a lot of discussions with each other,” he said on Tuesday in the ZDF “Morgenmagazin”. Palmer’s step is “respectable and I wish him a good life”. “This step is logical,” said the political federal manager of the Greens, Emily Büning, the news portal T-Online according to information from Monday evening.

Palmer had declared his withdrawal from the party on Monday, as announced by the Greens in Baden-Württemberg. He had previously stated that he wanted to take a “time out”. At the weekend there had been major discussions about controversial statements made by Palmer. He had defended the use of the so-called N-word – a previously common and perceived racist term for black people – in certain contexts. He compared the attacks on his person with the persecution of the Jews under National Socialism. He later justified himself by referring to his Jewish family history. His membership in the Greens has already been suspended because he has repeatedly caused a stir with his choice of words in recent years.

The Tübingen member of the Bundestag Chris Kühn also described Palmer’s resignation as a logical step. Palmer has moved far away from the party in terms of content and program, especially since 2015, said Kühn of the German Press Agency in Stuttgart. “In this respect, it was a logical step after an estrangement that has been evident for many years,” he commented on Palmer’s departure from the party.

Kühn, who sat on the Tübingen district executive of the Greens for a number of years and was the Green Party’s state leader, was regarded as an opponent of Palmer’s within the party. Regarding the events in Frankfurt, Kühn tweeted on Saturday that, as a native of Tübingen, he was once again ashamed of the mayor of his hometown.

Palmer himself called in sick Tuesday morning. “Mr. Palmer is ill and will not be available for inquiries today,” a city government spokeswoman said. The city administration does not know what his announced break should look like. When asked what exactly the timeout means and how long Palmer will not be on duty, the spokeswoman simply said: “We can’t give any information on that at the moment.”

At first it was said that he did not want to give any information on how he wanted to continue. “I’m taking a break today and for this reason I won’t answer any questions,” he told the German Press Agency in Stuttgart on Tuesday morning. When asked when he’ll be able to talk again, Palmer replied, “I don’t know.”

The 50-year-old Palmer has previously been criticized for controversial statements. In May 2021, the Greens in Baden-Württemberg had decided on party exclusion proceedings against him. The reason was a post on Facebook about former national soccer player Dennis Aogo that was considered racist. According to Palmer, his entry was meant to be satirical.

Palmer and the party agreed on a compromise at the time: Palmer declared that he would not be a member of the Greens until the end of 2023, which meant that expulsion from the party was off the table. He then won the mayoral election in Tübingen again in October 2022 and began a third term.