French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira quits in terror row. Photo: AFP
France's Justice Minister Christiane Taubira quit the French government on Wednesday in opposition to a plan to strip dual nationals of French citizenship if they are convicted of terror offences.
Taubira's resignation was accepted by President François Hollande with immediate effect. She justified the decision by saying she was being "faithful" to her values.
The announcement, which may not come as a shock to many in French politics, was made in a statement from the Elysée on Wednesday morning.
"Madame Christiane Taubira, Minister of Justice presented her resignation to the President of the Republic on January 27th, who accepted it.
"They agreed on the need to terminate her functions at the time when the debate on the revision of the constitution opens at the National Assembly," the statement added.
Taubira, one of the country's only high raking black politicians, has made it clear she was against Hollande's plan to strip dual nationals of French citizenship if they were found guilty of terror offences.
She was lambasted by the right for prematurely suggesting live on radio that Hollande had decided to ditch the plan. Opposition MPs, not for the first time, demanded that she resign over her show of dissent.
But Taubira, who was heralded for her role in pushing through a law to legalize gay marriage, took to Twitter on Wednesday morning, with a defiant message.
"Sometimes to resist means staying, sometimes resisting means leaving. Out of loyalty to oneself, to us," she wrote.
In another message she said she was proud of her work.
"Proud. The Ministry of Justice has grown in strength and vitality. Just as those who devote themselves to justice each day, my dreams are unbroken," she added.
Taubira, originally from French Guiana, was a popular figure among socialists and was hailed for guiding the controversial bill to legalize gay marriage through parliament in 2013, despite the mass street protests.
She was also the victim of shocking racism during her time as minister.
The magazine Minute went on sale on with a cover featuring a picture of Taubira with a headline that read: "Crafty as a monkey" and "Taubira gets her banana back".
But despite widespread condemnation of the racist taunts, Taubira was thoroughly disliked by those on the right who saw her as being too soft on criminals.
Reaction to her resignation came thick and fast from across the political spectrum.
While those on the left like former culture minister Aurelie Filippetti saluted her "immense talent" and ex-housing minister Cecile Duflot heralded her "courage".
But those on the right were rejoicing.
"The resignation of Taubira: Finally! Really good news for France," tweeted National Front deputy chief Florian Philippot.
Taubira will be replaced by Jean-Jacques Urvoas, a statement from the Elysée Palace said.