German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen has been elected as the new President of the European Commission to succeed Jean Claude Juncker.

Making history, she is the first woman ever elected to the role.

She was elected by 383 votes in favour to 327 votes against her candidacy in Strasbourg this evening.

733 MEPS voted and there were 22 abstentions, as well as one blank vote.

Briefly addressing the European Parliament after her victory, Ms von der Leyen said she was "overwhelmed" and she thanked MEPs for the trust that they have placed in her.

She said her work starts now and her message "let us work together constructively because the endeavour is a united, a strong Europe."

Now that Ms von der Leyen is elected, the selection of EU commissioners starts.

The European Parliament will hold committee hearings in September to grill commissioner nominees, such as Ireland's Phil Hogan. 

MEPs then vote on the entire 28 member commission to replace the Juncker Commission in the autumn.

Earlier, Ms von der Leyen said she is prepared to extend Britain's exit from the EU beyond the 31 October deadline if necessary.

"I stand ready for further extension of the withdrawal date should more time be required for a good reason," she told a confirmation hearing in the European Parliament.

Her remarks triggered howls of derision from pro-Brexit members of the European Parliament.

Ms Von der Leyen also said she would be willing to allow for a further Brexit extension "should time be required for good reason".

She said Brexit was "a serious decision. We regret it but we respect it", and the EU has worked hard to organise the orderly departure of the UK from the EU.

She said the Withdrawal Agreement provides certainty and peace and stability on the island of Ireland.

In her speech to parliament this morning, she promised that Europe would become the first climate neutral continent in the world by 2050.

She said Europe must take bold steps and the current target to reduce emissions by 40% was not enough.

Ms Von der Leyen said she will put forward a green deal for Europe in her first 100 days in office and promised to put forward a European Climate law, which she said would require an increase in investment on a major scale.

She pledged to turn part of the European Investment Bank into a green bank, which she said will unlock investment.

She said reducing emissions has a price and that is behavioural change meaning every sector will have to contribute, including aviation. 

Ms Von der Leyen told MEPs that she would introduce a carbon border tax to avoid "carbon leakage"

She said Europe must be united on the inside and then nobody will divide it from the outside.

She said: "If we close the gaps we can turn tomorrow's challenges into tomorrow's opportunities."

A surprise candidate, the German Minister for Defence was nominated by the leaders of the 28 EU member states a fortnight ago.