Arthur Wagner, a politician in the eastern state of Brandenberg, has become a Muslim. His Alternative for Germany (AfD) party entered the Bundestag last year following a populist, anti-Islam campaign.

42275083 303

The far-right, anti-Islam Alternative for Germany (AfD) party on Tuesday confirmed reports in the German media that one of its politicians has converted to Islam.

Arthur Wagner, a leading AfD member in the eastern German state of Brandenburg, resigned his position on the party's national executive committee on January 11 for personal reasons, a party spokesman said.

"The party has no problem with that," said AfD spokesman Daniel Friese.

Read more: Sweden: 9 In 10 'Underage' Migrants Caught Lying About Age

Friese insisted the AfD's national party included groups representing the interests of Muslims, as well as Christians and homosexuals.

Wagner, a German of Russian origin, had been a representative of the AfD since 2015. He was a member of the state committee with responsibility for churches and religious communities.

Before joining the anti-Islam, anti-immigration party, he was a member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU).

Wagner refused to answer questions from the German daily newspaper Tagesspiegel, who first reported his conversion to the Islamic faith.

"That's my private business," he told the newspaper. But he said there had been no attempt by the party to force him to resign.

The AfD entered Germany's national parliament, the Bundestag, for the first time following September's national election - becoming the third largest party.

Support for the party surged after Germany admitted more than 1.5 million refugees and migrants in 2015 and 2016 at the height of the European migration crisis.

The AfD argued that the country was under threat of "Islamization" and demanded stricter border controls to stem the number of newcomers arriving from war-torn and poverty-stricken countries in Africa and the Middle East.