Germany's main opposition party on Monday launched an effort to expel from its ranks a former head of the country's intelligence agency, AP reports.

The move comes weeks after he complained of what he said was a move toward “eliminatory racism against whites.”

The center-right Christian Democratic Union two weeks ago gave Hans-Georg Maassen an ultimatum to leave the party by Feb. 5, which he ignored. On Monday, party leader Friedrich Merz said the CDU leadership decided unanimously to start expulsion proceedings and withdraw his membership rights with immediate effect.

Maassen was removed as the head of the BfV domestic intelligence agency in 2018 after appearing to downplay far-right violence against migrants in the eastern city of Chemnitz. He has since become a vocal if marginal figure on the hard right of the CDU — the party once led by former Chancellor Angela Merkel — and ran unsuccessfully for election to the national parliament in 2021.

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