France’s Le Pen goes on of­fen­sive as fam­ily feud deep­ens

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

The founder of France’s far­right Na­tional Front, Jean-Marie Le Pen, vowed Fri­day to hit back at his daugh­ter Marine, as a fam­ily and po­lit­i­cal feud grew in­creas­ingly bit­ter.

Marine, the party pres­i­dent, “is blow­ing up her own party ... it’s not me killing my­self, it’s she who is shoot­ing her­self in the foot,” the 86-year-old told RTL ra­dio.

Jean-Marie ap­peared to be in no mood to back down, say­ing: “I will de­fend my­self” and “prob­a­bly go on the attack.”

The lat­est com­ments came amid a fierce war of words be­tween fa­ther and daugh­ter, af­ter Marine said Jean- Marie was com­mit­ting “po­lit­i­cal sui­cide” with re­cent com­ments about the Holo­caust.

The con­tro­versy- lov­ing JeanMarie had said that Nazi gas cham­bers were a “de­tail of his­tory” and de­fended war- time French leader Philippe Pe­tain, who col­lab­o­rated with Hitler’s regime.

It ap­pears to have been the last straw for Marine, 46, who has sought to clean up the party’s anti-Semitic and racist im­age in a bid to make it more electable.

She said her fa­ther should ap­pear be­fore a dis­ci­plinary body and con­sider quit­ting pol­i­tics al­to­gether.

While the row pained her deeply — both as a fam­ily mem­ber and an FN mem­ber — she stressed that “be­fore be­ing daugh­ter and fa­ther ... we are po­lit­i­cal lead­ers.”

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