Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Royal decree on low-cut tops

Read more

DEBATE

Ukraine, The Escalation: No Stopping Putin? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Ukraine, The Escalation: No Stopping Putin?

Read more

FOCUS

Bangladesh: Textile workers' lives still at risk?

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

José Bové, Candidate for the EU Commission presidency, Group of the Greens

Read more

WEB NEWS

NYPD's online campaign backfires

Read more

ENCORE!

Celebrating the Bard's birthday in Britain

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yuki Tatsumi, Senior Associate of the East Asia Program, Stimson Center

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

USA: Executions halted over drugs secrecy

Read more

  • Russia orders military drills as Ukraine moves on separatists

    Read more

  • Israel halts Middle East peace talks over Hamas deal

    Read more

  • Platini: PSG in danger over Financial Fair Play rules

    Read more

  • Ségolène Royal denies banning cleavage at French ministry

    Read more

  • Afghan guard kills US doctors in Kabul hospital attack

    Read more

  • Palestinian unity deal stirs anger in Israel

    Read more

  • Video: Mayor in east Ukraine ready ‘to turn Slaviansk into battlefield’

    Read more

  • US would defend Japan in islands dispute, Obama says

    Read more

  • New far-right mayor moves to quash Paris region mosque

    Read more

  • US soldiers arrive in Poland as Ukraine crisis continues

    Read more

  • Fatah, Hamas agree to form Palestinian unity government

    Read more

  • Millions of Syrians desperately need aid, says UN

    Read more

  • Muslims in CAR pray for an escape route

    Read more

  • Madrid beat Bayern 1-0 in first leg of Champions League semis

    Read more

  • Britain's ex-PM Blair warns against spread of radical Islam

    Read more

  • Turkish PM offers condolences to descendants of Armenians killed in 1915

    Read more

  • Gay marriage, one year on: ‘French civilisation did not crumble’

    Read more

  • Colombian president reinstates firebrand Bogota mayor

    Read more

  • NYPD public relations campaign on Twitter goes awry

    Read more

  • In pictures: Violent protests erupt in Rio

    Read more

France

Don't call us 'far right', says France's Marine Le Pen

©

Text by Tony Todd

Latest update : 2013-10-04

Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s National Front, says she will take journalists and media outlets who describe her party as “far-right” to court, calling the term “defamatory” and “insulting”.

The leader of France’s anti-EU and anti-immigration National Front (FN) said Thursday that she wants to take media organisations who call her party “far right” to court.

Marine Le Pen described the term as “defamatory” and “insulting”, and insisted that using it went “against the standards of journalistic impartiality”.

The FN, she said, was “neither left wing nor right wing” and simply had radically different ideas from the mainstream parties such as the UMP (centre-right opposition) and the ruling Socialists.

“All I ask is that the media, who in France are obliged to be impartial, stop using this term in a way that is deliberately intended to damage the party,” she said in a debate on BFM-TV.

The FN’s lawyer, Wallerand de Saint-Just, added that the party would not try the impossible and sue every news outlet that used the term “far-right”.

“We can’t do this willy-nilly, that would be a mammoth task,” he said. “But if we do decide to go to court, it will be if the term is used to associate the party with Nazis, racism, anti-Semitism, and murder.”

The FN a 'very different beast' 

Jean-Yves Camus, a leading French expert on far-right politics in France, agreed that it would be impossible to impose an outright ban on the term to describe the FN.

“They already tried that in the 1980s,” he explained. “The courts rejected it then and no judge would even consider it.”

But Camus conceded that the party was right to object to statements linking it to “old school” fascism of the 1930s and 1940s.

“The FN, while it is a far-right political movement, is a very different beast,” he told FRANCE 24. “Calling the FN Nazi or fascist is not true any more. Journalists do have a responsibility not to get this wrong.”

Founded in 1972 by Marine Le Pen’s father Jean Marie, the FN began as a mix of neo-fascists and those nostalgic for Vichy-era French leader Philippe Pétain and French colonial rule in Algeria.

Firebrand Jean Marie Le Pen repeatedly made headlines for calling the Holocaust a “mere detail” of the Second World War.

Marine Le Pen took over the party leadership in 2011, and has consistently worked to soften the party’s image and move it away from the racism and anti-Semitism it has been associated with in the past. Marine Le Pen focused the party instead on repatriating powers from Europe and slashing immigration.

In the 2012 presidential election, she came third in the first round with 17.9 percent of the national vote.

Date created : 2013-10-04

  • FRANCE

    EU strips immunity from Marine Le Pen

    Read more

  • FRANCE -SOUTH AFRICA

    Chirac ‘blocked’ Le Pen's Mandela visit

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    France to ban far-right group after deadly street fight

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)