Kathrin Oertel
Pegida's new leader and spokeswoman Kathrin Oertel is seen here during the weekly Pegida demonstration on January 25, 2015 in Dresden. The Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamification of the West (Pegida) movement demands a more restrictive policy on Germany's acceptance of foreign refugees and asylum seekers.Getty Images

Five leading members of the German anti-Islamisation group Pegida have quit the movement a week after the group's founder was forced to resign, reports confirmed on Wednesday (28 January).

Amongst those leaving, are Pegida's new leader Kathrin Oertel.

According to Pegida's Facebook page, Oertel, who had become the public face of the movement after founder Lutz Bachmann stepped down, quit after receiving "threats" and feeling harassed by media photographers.

Four other Pegida organizers, including Rene Jahn, quit after a late Tuesday (27 January) meeting.

Jahn resigned citing former leader Bachmann's continuing influence and, "failure to keep distance from Legida in Leipzig."

Legida is a sister movement of Pegida in Leipzig, an hour's drive from Dresden in eastern Germany.

Pegida's Sunday (25 January) march saw a sharp drop in attendance attracting just 17,000 people.

The next march, scheduled for Monday (2 February), has also been called off, confirmed a Dresden city administration spokeswoman.

Pegida's previous Monday march was also cancelled following an Islamist terror attack threat.

Bachmann founded the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident (Pegida) group in October last year.

The 42-year-old, who holds a criminal record for burglary and drugs offences, was forced to step down from Pegida's leadership last Wednesday (21 January) after a picture of him sporting a Hitler moustache was published along with derogatory comments he had made about refugees.