Europe

France's Le Pen family feud in quotes

Marine Le Pen (R) and her father Jean-Marie Le Pen attend their party congress in Lyon on 30 November 2014 Image copyright Reuters

Relations between Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder and honorary president of France's far-right National Front (FN), and his daughter, Marine, the party's president, have steadily deteriorated in the full media glare.

BBC News looks at how their relationship has become strained and how their language towards each other has reflected it.


Anti-Semitism row

Last summer, father and daughter had a public disagreement over a remark about Jewish singer Patrick Bruel which was condemned as anti-Semitic. Marine Le Pen said his words may have been misinterpreted, but she denounced them.

8 June 2014: "The fact remains that, with Jean-Marie Le Pen's long [political] experience, the fact that he did not anticipate the interpretation that would be made of this formulation is a political mistake for which the National Front suffers the consequences."

Image copyright AP
Image caption Marine Le Pen sat with her father at the party congress in November, but relations were already strained

As Marine Le Pen sought to assert her authority as leader, he hit back, reminding his daughter that he could not easily be removed.

18 June 2014: "She was not the one who named me honorary president, it was the FN congress. As a result I am president for life."


Domestic split

By September relations appeared to have smoothed, and Marine Le Pen publicly praised her father.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption In early September, father and daughter appeared to have patched up their differences, in public at least

1 September 2014: "I don't believe at all that we could do without the wisdom and experience of Jean-Marie Le Pen," she said.

However, within weeks Ms Le Pen was reported to have moved out of the estate outside Paris she shared with her father, after his Doberman dog reportedly killed one of her Bengal cats.


Le Pen pushed out of regional poll

It was not until 2 April 2015 that relations turned truly sour after Mr Le Pen gave a couple of interviews in which he repeated an old anti-Semitic slur that the Nazi gas chambers were "a detail of history".

Marine Le Pen said she would prevent her father from standing in the regional elections later this year, because of his comments.

8 April: Ms Le Pen said her father "seems to have entered a veritable spiral between a scorched earth strategy and political suicide".

"Given this situation, I have told him I will oppose... his candidacy in Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur," she said.

She added his "crude provocations seem aimed at harming me but, alas, they have dealt a very heavy blow to the whole movement".

Image copyright AP
Image caption Eventually, Jean-Marie Le Pen pulled out of the regional poll in favour of his grand-daughter (R)

9 April: Mr Le Pen replied by saying that "the prestige that I obviously still have within the Front National would provoke a considerable stir, and a loss of influence for [Marine] that she probably doesn't gauge...

"Marine Le Pen may want me dead, that's possible, but she must not count on my co-operation."

On 13 April, Mr Le Pen finally announced he was pulling out of the regional elections - although he said he thought he was "the best candidate for the National Front".


Le Pen suspended

Image copyright AFP

Unabashed, Mr Le Pen appeared on stage during the party's traditional 1 May rally in Paris, uninvited, to be greeted by the crowd. But on 4 May, during a meeting of the FN's executive committee, chaired by Marine Le Pen, he was officially suspended as a party member over his earlier remarks about World War Two.

On 3 May, Ms Le Pen said: "Jean-Marie Le Pen should no longer be able to speak in the name of the National Front, his comments are against the fixed [party] line".

Of Mr Le Pen's unexpected appearance at the 1 May rally, she said: "I think that was a malicious act, I think it was an act of contempt towards me.

"I get the feeling that he can't stand that the National Front continues to exist when he no longer heads it."

Following his suspension on 4 May, Mr Le Pen said: "I've been disowned.

"I've never spoken in the name of the FN. I speak freely and that shocks a certain number of people," he said.

And on 5 May,he said it would be "scandalous" if Ms Le Pen were to be elected president of France, adding:

"I am ashamed that the president of the National Front has my name and I would wish for her to lose it as quickly as possible. She can do this either by marrying her partner, or perhaps [Vice-President] Mr [Florian] Philippot or someone else... As for me, I do not wish for the the president of the National Front to be called Le Pen."


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