Mallorca affair: ex-NRW minister bursts into tears in committee

Committee on the Mallorca affair
Resigned NRW minister bursts into tears because of attempted spying on daughter

Mallorca affair: Ursula Heinen-Esser is not aware of any guilt because of her trip days after the flood disaster in the Ahr valley

© Marius Becker / DPA

Tears in the committee of inquiry into the Mallorca affair: an SPD employee is said to have tried to spy on the daughter of the resigned NRW Environment Minister Heinen-Esser via Instagram.

An employee of a North Rhine-Westphalian SPD member of the state parliament tried to gain insight into the Instagram appearance of the daughter of Environment Minister Ursula Heinen-Esser (CDU) in the course of the “Mallorca affair”. He sent the 16-year-old a friend request. The parliamentary director of the SPD parliamentary group, Sarah Philipp, from whose account one of the inquiries had been sent, confirmed the German Press Agency’s corresponding research by the “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger”.

Mallorca affair cost Heinen-Esser the office

Heinen-Esser, who had resigned in the course of the affair, burst into tears on Friday when she was questioned again in the state parliament’s investigative committee on the 2021 flood disaster. The inquiries to her daughter were “a step too much” for her, “a limit has been crossed,” said the CDU politician with a voice choked with tears.

Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU) expressed his horror. If people spy on other people, that is already “material for big scandals”. There is also a political intention behind it, “it’s an even bigger mess,” he said in Düsseldorf. “And if that happens to minors, I find it morally a very bad event.”

According to his own statements, the SPD member of parliament Philipp had no knowledge of the process; she apologized to Heinen-Esser and her daughter. SPD faction leader Thomas Kutschaty announced that the process had “labor law consequences” for the employee.

Heinen Esser resigned on April 7th. It had previously become known that the CDU politician had met other members of the government in Mallorca a few days after the flood disaster in July 2021 to celebrate her husband’s birthday. Her daughter was also in Mallorca at the time. When she first appeared as a witness, Heinen-Esser justified her return to the island by saying that she had to take care of her daughter and her friends. She hadn’t mentioned the birthday party.

Two friend requests to Heinen-Esser’s daughter

As a screenshot from the “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger” shows, Philipp’s employee first sent a contact request to Heinen-Esser’s daughter from the SPD politician’s Instagram account on April 6, and three minutes later from his own account. Background: The 16-year-old’s Instagram photos can only be seen by confirmed contacts.

CDU parliamentary group leader Bodo Löttgen demanded that the employee concerned should confirm in writing to the committee investigating the flood disaster that he himself had attempted the investigation. Löttgen spoke of a “shattering brutalization of democratic culture”.

Heinen-Esser stated that she had not spoken to today’s Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst (CDU) about the birthday party in Mallorca. She spoke to the head of the State Chancellery, Nathanael Liminski (CDU), at the end of March at the earliest, but she does not remember an exact date. Liminski confirmed this. At some point at the end of March this year, he found out about it from Heinen-Esser. “I can’t say exactly when.” He then informed Wüst.

Heinen-Esser regretted that guests at her husband’s birthday party were also criticized. However, the 56-year-old insisted on her version that she had traveled back to Mallorca because of her daughter and her friends, not because of her husband’s birthday party. She does not see any need for correction of her earlier statement. She also has nothing to reproach herself for professionally.


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