Bannon to French far-right party: 'Let them call you racists'

Bannon to French far-right party: 'Let them call you racists'

Le Pen defended inviting Bannon to the meeting, saying it was important to listen to the man who was "the architect of Donald Trump's victory" and has written about globalization, protectionism and giving to regular people the power that "has been practically illegally captured by the elite".

Len Pen wants to change the name of the National Front, the party co-founded by her father in 1972. A new leadership structure and new bylaws are also being unveiled at the two-day congress.

Bannon met Marion, who temporarily withdrew from politics after her aunt's presidential election defeat last May, at the CPAC conservative conference in Maryland last month, where he said she was "absolutely electrifying".

"History is on our side", he told the crowd of Marine Le Pen supporters.

This week Le Pen seemed heartened by the strong gains made by the allied anti-immigrant League party in Italy's general election, hailing it as a "new stage in the awakening of the people".

But party members credit Marine Le Pen with massively expanding the party's support, doubling its score from 5.5 million votes in the 2002 presidential election to 10.6 million, or nearly 34 per cent, in 2017.

More news: More Railway Stations, Trains To Have All-Women Crew

The outcome of Italy's election last weekend has energized France's far right.

The party canvassed 51,000 members previous year about the name change proposal and on Saturday it emerged just 52 per cent had voted in favour among the 30,000 who responded.

Jean-Marie Le Pen said that in losing heavily to Macron his daughter had "not been equal to the challenge" - a sentiment echoed by many FN members. The National Front today has changed in nature.

In the meantime, she emphasized that the political views of the National Front would not change; it will stand for "the defense of identity, French culture, security, the fight against immigration, and the defense of a social model, of national solidarity and especially of national sovereignty".

However, Len Pen's credibility is among the potential obstacles to a possible far-right comeback. The percentage of respondents who agreed she would make a good president fell to 16 percent, an eight-point drop from 2017.

She also fell out with her former right-hand man Florian Philippot, who went on to form the rival Patriots party.

More news: Officer killed, 2 wounded at Missouri home

His arrival in Paris comes as the far-right giant of French politics is in a slump.

The weekend congress is expected to erase one persistent problem for Le Pen - her unpredictable, bombastic father - by eliminating his title of honorary president-for-life from party statutes.

However, senior members of the far-right party have been touring French regions to meet party activist and members have received a questionnaire regarding the party's future.

After threatening to crash the congress, with armed guards if necessary, the elder Le Pen said he would skip it.

"The National Front has become an adult".

More news: New Zealand signs Trans-Pacific trade pact

Related Articles