Meet David McAllister. He was last week mooted as Merkel’s heir apparent at Germany’s ruling conservative Christian Democratic Union party conference in Hanover. Bizarrely, however, his supporters at the congress waved banners proclaiming “I’m a Mac!” – for this leader-in-waiting is a not-so-secret Scot. The son of a wartime British Army captain, McAllister is the first dual German-British citizen to hold prominent public office.
Until last week, he stood out in Germany’s political scene mainly for his strange name, which the Germans struggle to pronounce. Last week, his reputation vaulted far beyond his unusual heritage. With the nation watching, McAllister, 41, played host to Merkel and the Christian Democratic Union as the party gathered at his northern Germany power base in Lower Saxony. It was a triumph for both politicians. Mrs Merkel was re-elected party leader, while McAllister was effectively anointed as her political son and likely successor.