French far-right family feud deepens

9th April 2015, Comments 0 comments

France's far-right leader Marine Le Pen Thursday said her father Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of the National Front party, would appear before a disciplinary body -- and should consider quitting politics -- after making controversial comments about the Holocaust.

The dramatic feud burst into the open Wednesday with Marine accusing her controversy-loving father of committing "political suicide" when he said Nazi gas chambers were a "detail of history" and called for closer ties with Russia to protect the "white world."

On Thursday, Marine Le Pen said the 86-year-old former FN leader had been summoned "to the executive body" for disciplinary proceedings.

Marine Le Pen also asked her father "to prove his wisdom, draw the consequences of the trouble he he himself has created and maybe give up his political responsibilities."

The elder Le Pen has been no stranger to controversy since he became head of the far-right party in 1972, and he continued to come out with shock statements even after his daughter took over the reins of the National Front in 2011.

But his latest sorties appear to have been the last straw for Marine Le Pen, who has been trying to clean up the party's anti-Semitic and racist image since she took over, a move that has seen it soar in opinion polls as it attracts more mainstream voters.

Apart from condemning the comments, the 46-year-old also said Wednesday she would oppose her father standing in regional elections in December.

Jean-Marie Le Pen's repeat controversial comments over the years -- which have also included saying the Nazi occupation of France "was not particularly inhumane" -- have earned him a string of convictions for hate speech along the way.

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© 2015 AFP

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