French far-right leader makes a splash in New York

French far-right leader makes a splash in New York

22nd April 2015, Comments 0 comments

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen, named by US Time magazine as one of the world's 100 most influential people, said Tuesday it was recognition that her party was on the rise.

Le Pen said it showed the National Front was being taken seriously internationally and that one day the once fringe protest party founded by her ageing father Jean-Marie could take power.

"Perhaps in a few months there will be major changes in France," Marine Le Pen said as she arrived at a gala dinner for recipients of the Time magazine awards.

Marine Le Pen has tried to clean up the party's racist image since taking the reins in 2011, with the FN enjoying a series of election successes, notably coming first in last year's European elections.

She has been involved in a bitter public spat with her controversial father, who recently repeated his claim that the Nazi gas chambers were merely a "detail of history".

Wearing a long navy-blue dress and black cape, Marine Le Pen said she was delighted to be the only representative of the French political world at the Time event, where French economist Thomas Piketty was also honoured.

Time put Len Pen in the "leaders" of the world category alongside US President Barack Obama, his Russian and Cuban counterparts Vladimir Putin and Raul Castro, Pope Francis, as well as celebrity Kim Kardashian and Apple CEO Time Cook.

Le Pen arrived at the gala shortly after designer Diane Von Fustenberg, actress Mia Farrow and country singer Tim McGraw.

Le Pen said she was proud of her country and proud of millions of French voters who had stopped voting for the traditional right and left.

"You see the France of the forgotten. This evening they are not forgotten," she said.

© 2015 AFP

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