Le Pen fac­ing lobby over anti-racism

Midweek Sport - - IN YOUR SIZZLING -

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.

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