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France: Le Pen family feud deepens as Marine urges Jean-Marie to quit politics

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By Euronews
France: Le Pen family feud deepens as Marine urges Jean-Marie to quit politics

<p>French National Front leader Marine Le Pen has urged her father, party founder Jean Marie, to retire from politics.</p> <p>The 86-year-old last week defended past comments that Nazi gas chambers were a “detail of history”.</p> <p>He was then quoted as calling France’s Spanish-born Prime Minister Manuel Valls “the immigrant” and defending Philippe Petain, leader of the French war-time government that cooperated with Nazi Germany.</p> <p>Le Pen senior’s latest controversial comments, in the far-right weekly newspaper Rivarol, proved to be the last straw in an increasingly bitter family feud – prompting his daughter to launch disciplinary proceedings against him.</p> <p>Marine Le Pen told French television on Thursday: “Jean-Marie Le Pen should show some wisdom. He should draw the consequences of the trouble he himself has created and perhaps give up his political responsibilities.”</p> <p>On the streets of Paris, some strongly backed Marine Le Pen’s stance.</p> <p>Nathalie, one resident of the French capital, said it was a good strategic move for Marine Le Pen to distance herself from her father and show her opposition to him, saying that this would enable her to win votes.</p> <p>“She’s right. She’s right,” agreed fellow Paris-dweller Paul-Francois Leca.</p> <p>“He is an old geezer who must be removed. There you have it. He does it on purpose. So he should hit the road. That way, things will be in order.”</p> <p>Jean-Marie Le Pen remains the National Front’s honorary president. </p> <p>But his remarks threaten his daughter’s efforts to rid the far-right party of its anti-Semitic image and widen its appeal as she readies a bid for the French presidency in 2017.</p> <p>Under her leadership, the party has deepened its roots across France, winning outright control of some town halls and getting its officials elected onto provincial councils.</p> <p>Polls suggest she could make it into the second-round run-off of a presidential election but would be unlikely to win.</p>