The Daily Telegraph
French Left leader resigns after admitting slapping wife
THE French Left yesterday faced accusations of double standards after members of its camp leapt to the defence of a senior MP who admitted slapping his wife.
French prosecutors in Lille, northern France, launched an investigation into Adrien Quatennens, the de facto head of the radical Left La France Insoumise (LFI, “France Unbowed”) party, after information was leaked to the press revealing that his wife, Céline, had reported her estranged husband to the police for violence.
The disclosures are embarrassing for LFI and partners from its Left-wing NUPES parliamentary alliance, which has championed the exposure of violence against women.
Mr Quattenens himself called on the government in 2019 to pay more heed to complaints filed in police stations by women reporting violence.
Mr Quatennens, 32, a rising star of the hard Left, announced he was withdrawing from his role as LFI coordinator – effectively the party’s top post, as there is no official leader.
Jean-luc Mélenchon, who came third in the first round of this year’s presidential elections for LFI, praised Mr Quatennens for his “dignity and courage”.
But such support sparked criticism from anti-domestic violence campaigners. Anne-cécile Mailfert, president of the Fondation des Femmes, said Mr Mélenchon should read up about marital violence. “It’s not a conflict, it’s violence,” she wrote.
Sandrine Rousseau, an MP for the green Europe Écologie Les Verts party, called on Mr Quatennens to withdraw from all public speaking. “Violence against women has many faces. None of them is acceptable,” she said.
Mr Quatennens said he and his wife were planning to divorce. In one argument, he confessed: “I slapped her ... I profoundly regret this action and I have said sorry many times.”
A statement from LFI said the party “reiterated its relentless engagement in the fight against violence to women”.