European Parliament elects new president

German conservative, Hans-Gert Poettering, will head the EU’s legislative assembly for the next two and a half years. He has been an M.E.P since 1979 and won 450 votes to secure the position.

The close ally of German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, replaces Spanish socialist Josep Borrell, who's been president of the European Parliament since 2004.

Poettering's election was part of a deal which meant he would split the presidency of the parliament's current 5 year term with Borrell.

In his speech given in Strasburg, Hans-Gert Poettering said, “Thank you for putting your trust in me, for the wonderful, but also very responsible tasks that face the president of the European Parliament. I will do everything within my power to ensure that the citizens of the EU, as well as democracy and parliamentary spirit, are properly served. I will do my part for a democratic, strong and active European Union.”