French far-right leader Marine Le Pen mobbed by Oxford Union protesters
Controversial nationalist politician gives a speech at the prestigious Oxford Union, blaming Western society’s ills on Islamic ideology
French far-right political leader Marine Le Pen has received a hostile reception at the Oxford Union where she was was invited to discuss western values.
Crowds of protesters gathered outside the building to denounce the controversial leader of France’s far-right Front National.
Her speech to gathered union members was delayed by over one hour as the angry crowd attempted to block entrances.
Union officials have faced criticism for inviting Ms Le Pen to speak uninterrupted for five minutes, rather than insisting on a more traditional debate format where an opponent would have also been heard.
Protesters carry a placard that reads “Le Pen never again” as they demonstrate outside the Oxford Union (AFP)
She is believed to have used her speech to blame Islamic ideology for the issues facing western society.
Demonstrators protest against far right politician Marine Le Pen (AP)
Social media users estimated that up to 200 protesters had gathered to block Ms Le Pen from speaking.
Miss Le Pen, the daughter of the anti-immigrant politician Jean-Marie Le Pen, has seen her popularity surge in recent years. She came third in the presidential elections in 2012, behind the left-wing president Francois Hollande and the former president Nicolas Sarkozy. The next French presidential elections will be held in 2017, and she is expected to run again.
Since taking the reins of the National Front in 2011, Miss Le Pen has tried to soften the xenophobic, extremist image the party had under her father and broaden its appeal.
8:17PM GMT 05 Feb 2015