Michael Heaver made the logical insight on the new Brexit Party podcast Brexbox. He explained: “I do think it’s significant the fact that she’s the German defence minister. I think that shows clearly, and we’ve heard it from Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel: a full EU army; that’s what they’re focusing on.
“And that’s, I think, why they’re trying to bring her in.”
Mr Heaver added humorously: “Very interesting – she comes with a strong recommendation.
“In fact, there was a poll done in Germany and only 33 percent of the German people think she’d be any good.
“The majority don’t.
JUST IN: EU news: Green and left-wing MEPs pledge to VOTE DOWN von der Leyen
“So there’s your endorsement. They’re not exactly putting their best up for the EU.”
Co-panellist Alexandra Phillips also had little good to say about Ms Leyen, claiming that no one knows what she stands for or believes.
People always say that Brexiteers didn’t know what they were voting for.
She said: “I would argue that anyone who voted to Remain doesn’t know what they voted for.
The European Parliament is due to vote next Tuesday on whether von der Leyen, Germany’s defence minister and a conservative ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel, should succeed Luxembourg’s Jean-Claude Juncker as head of the EU executive.
Von der Leyen’s nomination by EU leaders has infuriated the Social Democrats (SPD), Merkel’s coalition partners, who feel aggrieved that the leaders ignored the lead candidates from the main parliamentary blocs in their horse-trading over top posts.
Merkel said on Thursday the coalition’s situation “is not easy”. She was the only EU leader to abstain in a vote last week on an EU top jobs package after she consulted the SPD, which rejected the deal.
Von der Leyen is currently lobbying lawmakers in the European Parliament to confirm her as Commission chief. The Socialist grouping to which the SPD belongs has 154 of the assembly’s total 751 seats, not enough alone to block her.
In its paper, the SPD dissected what it presented as von der Leyen’s policy and leadership failures as defence minister, highlighting a scandal over the awarding of contracts, her alienation of the army top brass and gaps in the military.