Berlin mayor quits over delayed airport

Berlin's mayor has announced he will step down after heavy criticism over delays to the opening of the new Berlin-Brandenburg airport, which is now three years overdue.

Planning for the airport began in 1989 just after the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was due to open in 2011 but costs have ballooned to €5bn (£3.9bn) and it is still unclear when it will be operational.

Social democrat Klaus Wowereit, who has been mayor of Germany's capital since 2001, will officially stand down in December.

Wowereit, who famously described Berlin as "poor but sexy", said: "I leave voluntarily and I am proud of my contribution to the positive development of this city.

"But one of the biggest defeats is of course the delayed opening of the BER [airport]."