Frauke Petry is, unusually for her, a little flustered. The 41-year-old politician has turned up for a television interview very late, wearing a checked shirt, a no-go for the camera, she quickly realises. Swiftly changing into a cream jacket borrowed from the TV presenter, she pleads for the camera not to show her scuffed boots. “It was all a bit of a dash this morning,” she admits afterwards. Two of her four children are at home sick – “on the sofa, headache, stomach ache” – and she didn’t want to leave them until she knew they would be OK on their own.