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French court allows Le Pen to rejoin the party

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French court allows Le Pen to rejoin the party
Founder of the National Front (FN), Jean-Marie Le Pen, leaves the High Court of Nanterre on June 12th. Photo: Martin Bureau/AFP
15:12 CEST+02:00
A French court on Thursday cancelled the suspension of veteran far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen from the National Front party which he founded.

The court ordered the party to restore Le Pen's membership two months after he was ousted in a bitter feud with his daughter Marine, who now leads the party.

However the National Front immediately appealed against the verdict.

Marine Le Pen, who now leads the party, suspended her father after he repeated inflammatory remarks he had made in the past, referring to Nazi gas chambers as a "detail of history."
   
This appeared to be the last straw for Marine, who has sought to rid the party of its overtly racist, anti-Semitic image, and she split openly with her father, unleashing a bitter family row that has played out in the headlines.
   
Jean-Marie had been calling for the court to overturn his suspension, which he believes is contrary to the party's statutes.
   
The founder of the party has "no FN credit card any more, he can't get into the building, they've reassigned his office, he can't participate in meetings," complained his lawyer ahead of the trial.
   
Daughter Marine however said she had "nothing to fear" from the court case.
   
"The courts will find that the procedure used was completely in order, that the rights of Jean-Marie Le Pen were respected in full," she told French radio on Friday.
   
"I don't think this is a decisive day for the National Front," she said, adding that the members had already moved on.
   
"Perhaps ... he considers that the National Front is his property and that he doesn't want the National Front to outlive him," she said of her father.
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