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French interior minister resigns over jobs scandal

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By Catherine Hardy  with Reuters
French interior minister resigns over jobs scandal

France’s interior minister has resigned following allegations he hired his daughters for summer jobs while they were students.

Financial prosecutors in Paris have launched an inquiry into the allegations surrounding Bruno Le Roux.

He has also been summoned to meet the country’s prime minister.

What are the allegations?

A report by a satirical TV show claimed that, while he was in parliament, Le Roux employed his two daughters as assistants during their holidays.

“Bruno Le Roux’s two daughters had 14 and 10 short-term contracts each, of which one last 15 years” says a journalist for the investigative website, Mediapart.

Why is this an issue?

Politicians employing family members has become a hot-button issue in the French presidential election. It comes after conservative candidate Francois Fillon became embroiled in a scandal over employing his wife and children as assistants.

Members of the National Assembly, France’s lower house of parliament, are allowed to hire family assistants and pay them from funds put at the disposal of lawmakers.

“An inquiry has been opened into the employment of Bruno Le Roux’s daughters,” says Mediapart.

What is the Socialist Party saying?

The secretary-general of the Socialist Party, Jean-Christophe Cambadelis, told French radio there was nothing wrong with employing relatives as long as they do actual work.

“If no work was done, then this is additional pay and that is a real moral, political and ethical problem.”

“The biggest decision facing Le Roux is whether he should resign” says Socialist Party presidential candidate, Benoit Hamon.