Le Pens signs off with joke about Jew's nose
French far right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen handed control of his party to his daughter Sunday with a parting shot that maintained his reputation for controversy, joking about a Jewish reporter's nose.
Le Pen was responding to journalists' questions about a reporter who had said he was violently thrown out of a National Front dinner by party security guards on Saturday for allegedly attending without authorisation.
"He complained it was because he was Jewish he was thrown out. You couldn't tell by looking at his identity card, nor at his nose," Le Pen retorted, evoking a physical sterotype that was notably used in Nazi proaganda.
While controversial, the off-colour aside was mild compared to many of Le Pen's outbursts, which have seen him convicted of racial hatred and caused outrage in 1987 when he dubbed Nazi death camps a mere "detail of history."
Le Pen handed over the leadership to his youngest daughter Marine who has officially named his successor. In his farewell speech Saturday he rejected criticism of his outspoken comments over his 40 years as FN leader.
© 2011 AFP