A top member of the far-right German political party, Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), has come under fire over a leaked email in which she allegedly referred to the government as "pigs" and claimed the country had been "overrun by Arabs, Sinti and Roma."
Alice Weidel, who is running on a joint ticket for the party at this year's federal elections along with Alexander Gauland, has been viewed by many as a more moderate voice of the anti-immigrant party and has denied being the author of the email which dates back to 2013.
The Welt am Sonntag reported that the email was sent by Weidel on the 24 February 2013, and claimed it contained "racist remarks and democracy-scorning theses".
At the time, Weidel was living in Frankfurt and was working as an asset manager at the financial institution Allianz.
Welt quoted from the contents of the correspondence: "The reason why we are overrun by culturally foreign people such as Arabs, Sinti and Roma is the systematic destruction of civil society as a possible counterweight from the enemies of the constitution by whom we are governed."
The communique went on to describe Angela Merkel's government as "pigs" who were "puppets of WWII allies".
The email also used words now deemed archaic in the modern German language including "Überfremdung" which translates as 'foreign infiltration'.
The use of "Überfremdung", disappeared from the German lexicon after the Second World War and is mainly used today by far-right groups.
However, Weidel and the AfD hit back, denying that the email had been written by her, but the newspaper said it had an affidavit and other statements from those who were part of her personal and professional life at the time that proved otherwise.
Weidel and the AfD are trying to get their first-ever representatives inside the German Bundestag at national elections in less than two weeks time.
According to German election law, national parties require 5% of the vote to be able to take up their seats in the Bundestag, the party is currently polling on average at around 9%.
The email leak, is the latest controversy swirling around Weidel during the election campaign. Last week, she walked out of a live television debate after she was accused of failing to disassociate herself from right-wingers.