Germany’s Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht has resigned following a series of blunders and PR disasters.

It comes as Berlin comes under rising pressure to allow the delivery of German-built battle tanks to Ukraine.

Ms Lambrecht was mocked for her announcement that Germany was supporting Ukraine by sending 5,000 military helmets.

She was also widely criticised for failing to improve Germany’s notoriously ill-equipped armed forces.

This was despite the provision of €100bn (£88bn) for that task following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Ms Lambrecht, a member of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats (SPD), also came in for criticism when it emerged that she had taken her son on a trip in a military helicopter.

But it was an awkward video she posted on New Year’s Eve which triggered widespread contempt and undermined her support within political circles. In the video, Ms Lambrecht talked about the positive personal encounters she had enjoyed during the war in Ukraine, while fireworks exploded around her in Berlin.

In a resignation statement seen by the German national news agency, Ms Lambrecht said: “Months of media focus on me doesn’t allow for fact-based reporting and discussion about soldiers, the army and security policy in the interest of German citizens.

“The valuable work of the soldiers and many motivated people in the defence area needs to be in the foreground.”

Ms Lambrecht was due to meet other defence ministers from Ukraine’s western allies at the American military base in Ramstein on Friday to discuss further support for Ukraine.

The German government is facing renewed calls to approve the delivery of German-built Leopard 2 tanks.

It is not yet clear who will succeed Ms Lambrecht in a job which is considered such a poisoned chalice that many refer to it as “the ejector seat”.

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