The Daily Telegraph

Naked ambition of former PM ahead of French election

- By Our Foreign Staff

HIS eyebrows may be falling off, but Edouard Philippe, France’s former prime minister, a leading contender to succeed Emmanuel Macron as president, in the 2027 elections, has said his alopecia will not diminish his “extreme” political aspiration­s.

The 52-year-old politician, who spearheade­d the government’s fight against the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, was a familiar face on television with his trademark brown beard.

Since leaving the post in the summer of 2020 and working as mayor of the Normandy port of Le Havre, his appearance has drasticall­y changed, with his hair and beard thinning and turning white suddenly.

But Mr Philippe has insisted his condition would not stand in the way of his political plans.

“That doesn’t stop me from being extremely ambitious for my city ... [or] my country,” he told BFMTV in an interview late Thursday

He has founded a new centrist party called Horizons that is allied with Mr Macron’s ruling faction but also unafraid of showing an independen­t streak.

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