Open crisis in the far-right front national (FN) in france: vice president florian philippot leaves the party after a dispute with leader marine le pen. Philippot, long considered one of le pen’s closest confidants, made the announcement on thursday.
Followers of philippot announced they would follow him. After the recent election defeats, there were considerable tensions within the party, which have now come to the surface. EU deputy philippot (35) is seen as an opponent of the community preservation euro. However, as the FN’s anti-european course failed to resonate with voters in the spring presidential and parliamentary elections, philippot came under pressure. Leaving the euro is not a political priority for him, FN secretary general nicolas bay told the radio station franceinfo.
Le pen said she respected philippot’s decision. She had accused him of a conflict of interest and removed his responsibility for the strategy and communications task area. Philippot, who is also president of his political association "the patriots", but retained the title of vice-president. "I am leaving the FN bereft," philippot announced. FN european deputy sophie montel declared via twitter that she also wanted to leave the party.
Le pen lost the presidential election in may by a clear margin to her social liberal rival emmanuel macron, with just under 34 percent of the vote. A TV debate with macron before the election turned into a debacle for le pen and led to criticism even in his own camp. In the parliamentary elections in june, the party won only eight seats as a deputy. Le pen had called for an end to the euro as a normal means of payment during the elections.
Observers expect that the party founded by jean-marie le pen will once again be allowed to pursue an anti-immigration course after the departure of philippot. The FN is planning a congress next spring.