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France

French National Front drops Jean-Marie Le Pen video blog

© AFP

Video by FRANCE 2 , FRANCE 24

Text by Tony TODD

Latest update : 2014-06-10

France’s far-right National Front (FN) will no longer publish the weekly video blog of its founder Jean Marie Le Pen, after the outspoken 85-year-old used the platform to make allegedly anti-Semitic remarks.

On Tuesday the party’s lawyer, Wallerand de Saint-Just, said the FN would no longer be hosting Le Pen’s weekly video comments for “legal reasons”.

Le Pen’s comments in his last posting, that Jewish comedian and FN critic Patrick Bruel should be consigned to an “ovenload”, was met with a wave of protest and comments that the party, for all its attempts to reform its image, was still racist at heart.

The comment in the video blog, which was published on the FN website before being hastily removed, was taken by many to be an oblique reference to the crematoria in Nazi death camps.

Le Pen said in French, “Next time we will make an ovenload [of them]." Le Pen used the word "fournée", which means “batch” or “ovenload”.

Outspoken Le Pen, who has been convicted several times for making anti-Semitic statements, remains honorary leader of the FN, which he founded.

The party has been led officially since 2011 by his daughter Marine Le Pen, who has been at pains to change the FN’s image of being overtly racist and anti-Semitic.

Marine Le Pen said her father’s comments were “a political error”. But she has been criticised for failing to say that they were also a moral mistake.

Saint-Just told reporters on Monday that Marine Le Pen had been subject to a “deluge of complaints” as the official publisher of the FN website.

Since her father made the offending comments, the name of the site’s publisher has been changed to François Jalkh, a senior member of the party.
 

Date created : 2014-06-10

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