France National Front: Jean-Marie Le Pen to set up ‘grouping’

 Jean-Marie Le Pen (left) and Marine Le Pen. Photo: 1 May 2015
Marine Le Pen (right) has made it clear she wants her father (left) out of politics

France’s National Front (FN) founder Jean-Marie Le Pen has said he plans to set up his own “grouping” after being suspended from the far-right party.

“I’m not going to start another party. I will create a grouping that does not compete with the FN,” he told France’s Radio Courtoisie.

Mr Le Pen, 86, was suspended this month after he repeated his view that the Holocaust was “a detail of history”.

His daughter Marine Le Pen, 46, has been leading the FN since 2011.

She is trying to steer the party away from its racist and anti-Semitic past, correspondents say.

‘Ashamed’

Mr Le Pen said he was creating his movement to “weigh in to restore the political line that was followed for decades”.

He added that those opposing the FN’s new line “are numerous but do not have the means to make themselves heard”.

A senior FN party member criticised Mr Le Pen’s plan, saying the FN would “rule out any form of entente” with the new grouping, according to the AFP news agency.

Earlier this month, Mr Le Pen said he was “ashamed” his daughter still bore his surname.

Amid a growing feud, Mr Le Pen said he hoped she “would get married as quickly as possible so as to change her name”.

He added he would not support Marine in presidential elections in 2017.

Mr Le Pen has been suspended but not dismissed by the party – a decision he described as a “felony”.

An extraordinary party congress is expected to be held within three months aimed at ending the function of honorary president – which Mr Le Pen has been holding since stepping down as leader in 2011.

Some commentators have suggested he could be more of a risk outside the party than within it.

Mr Le Pen still holds a seat in the European Parliament and a post as a regional councillor in the south of France.

line
Jean-Marie Le Pen: A career in controversy
  • 1987 – First makes his infamous remarks describing the Holocaust as a “detail of history”
  • 1997 – Assaults rival Annette Peulvast-Bergeal during parliamentary election campaign
  • 2006 – One of many convictions for inciting racial hatred over inflammatory remarks about France’s Muslim population
  • 2007 – Tells Le Monde newspaper “you can’t dispute the inequality of the races”
  • 2015 – Repeats views on the Holocaust, prompting Marine Le Pen to accuse him of trying to “rescue himself from obscurity”

A family feud on the French far-right

Le Pen family feud in quotes

A step closer to power for the FN?

From ‘untouchables’ to EU force

From BBC News . 11.05.15

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