French court annuls Jean-Marie Le Pen's suspension from far-right FN
PARIS - Reuters
A picture taken on November 29, 2014 in Lyon shows France's former far-right Front National (FN) party's leader Jean-Marie Le Pen (R) and France's far-right Front National (FN) party?s leader Marine Le Pen (L), during the 15th French far-right National Front (FN) congress. AFP PhotoA French court cancelled Jean-Marie Le Pen's suspension from the far-right National Front party on July 2 in a ruling that could re-launch a public feud with his daughter, now party leader Marine Le Pen.
By pushing her maverick father out of the party he founded four decades ago, Marine Le Pen was seeking to prevent him ruining her bid for power.
But her 86-year old father went to the courts to be re-instated in the party.
"Mr Le Pen can from tomorrow
[July 3] morning ... start using his office again and all the means that were at his disposal and sit in all the bodies in which he was taking part as honorary president," lawyer Frederic Joachim told local media.
The crisis at the National Front erupted in April when Le Pen senior reiterated past comments that the Nazi gas chambers were a mere detail of history, and defended Philippe Petain, the war-time leader who cooperated with Nazi Germany.
However FN deputy leader Florian Philippot played down any consequences from the ruling, saying party members were in any case being consulted on cancelling the honorary president title in an on-line vote that closes on July 10.
"No one thinks that he speaks in the name of the FN anymore anyway," he told BFM TV. Asked if he still had support within the party, Philippot laughed and said there was unanimity behind Marine Le Pen.