Le Pen facing lobby over anti-racism
FRENCH far-right leader Marine Le Pen has been stripped of her European Parliament immunity.
The 44-year-old president of the Front National (FN) may now face charges of racism over comments she made comparing Muslim street prayers to an occupation of French territory.
The European Parliament, meeting in Strasbourg, voted by a show of hands to withdraw Ms Le Pen’s immunity at the request of a French prosecutor.
The vote followed a recommendation last month by the parliament’s judicial affairs committee that it be withdrawn so she could defend herself against the charges, filed by an anti-racism association.
Ms Le Pen has repeated the remarks first made in 2010 and on Tuesday said she stands behind them and looks forward to defending her comments in front of a judge.
She has lead the FN – the third-largest political party in France – since January 2011 and is the youngest daughter of the French politician Jean-Marie Le Pen, a former president of the FN.