Merkel ‘heir’ AKK drops bombshell on German government

The leader of Germany’s governing Christian Democratic Union has said she is stepping down. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, known as AKK, had been widely tipped to succeed Angela Merkel when the chancellor retires in about 18 months. But her decision to give up the party leadership means she will not now stand as chancellor candidate. AKK’s decision comes after a tough year for her as CDU party leader.