German politician Ursula von der Leyen has been voted in as the new president of the European Commission.

The Angela Merkel ally, who is the first woman to take on the role, said ahead of her election she would be willing to allow another Brexit extension beyond 31 October.

She was confirmed in the role by a European Parliament vote of 383-327, with 22 abstentions.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker gestures as he speaks during a press conference
Image: Ursula von der Leyen will replace Jean-Claude Juncker

“I feel so honoured and I am overwhelmed. The task ahead of us humbles me,” Ms von der Leyen said.

The outgoing German defence minister was nominated by the bloc’s leaders to replace Jean-Claude Juncker as part of an overall appointments deal between member states, but she still needed to be confirmed by an absolute majority of MEPs.

She was a last-minute candidate for the role and this caused anger among some MEPs.

She said: “My message to all of you is: let us work together constructively.”

Under the deal, the liberal Renew Europe Group got Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel as European Council President and the Socialist candidate, David Sassoli, was picked to be president of the European Parliament.

The announcement came after Ms von der Leyen earlier clashed with Nigel Farage in the European Parliament as she said she would allow another extension to Brexit if there were good reasons.

She said: “We cannot talk about Europe without talking about our friends from the UK.

“For the very first time, in 2016 a member state decided to leave the EU.

“This is a serious decision, we regret it but we respect it.

“Since then, together with the current government of the UK, the EU has worked hard to organise the orderly departure of the UK.”

Ms von der Leyen said the withdrawal agreement struck with outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May “provides certainty where Brexit created uncertainty”.

“However, I stand ready for a further extension of the withdrawal date should more time be required for a good reason,” she said.

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