France’s far-right National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, whose party membership has been suspended by his own daughter, plans to set up his own political group.
Last week, party chief Marine Le Pen suspended her father’s membership and called a meeting to strip him of his title of honorary chairman after the former paratrooper repeated his view that Nazi gas chambers were a mere “detail” of World War Two.
“I will not create another party. I will create a formation that will not compete with the FN,” Jean-Marie Le Pen said on Radio Courtoisie.
Opinion polls this year have suggested Marine Le Pen will head the field in the first round of presidential elections due in 2017, although she is not expected to be able to muster enough support to triumph in the subsequent second-round ballot.
However, if her father were to make a presidential bid with a new party, he could take part of the National Front’s traditional electorate with him, divide the far-right movement and weaken his daughter’s chances of leading the first round.
Le Pen senior said that his new group will be “a parachute against disaster” and will welcome all whodisagree with the National Front’s current political line.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved