France: National Front expels Jean-Marie Le Pen
Decision comes after family feud with daughter Marine Le Pen, current party head, comes to boiling point over Jean-Marie’s controversial Holocaust remarks

Jean-Marie Le Pen,French far-right leader of the National Front (FN), has been expelled by the party's executive board following a disciplinary meeting on Thursday afternoon.

The expulsion co-founder of the FN was voted by the required "majority" of the board, the party said in a statement.

"The complete reasoned decision will be notified shortly to Mr. Le Pen," read the brief statement.

The expulsion of Jean-Marie Le Pen, 87, comes after a family feud with his daughter, Marine Le Pen, the current leader of the party, which reportedly came to a boiling point over his remarks on the World War II when he claimed that the Nazi gas chambers used during the Holocaust were a "mere detail".

He also reportedly defended France's Marshal Petain who had sided with the Nazis during the war, claiming Petain had not betrayed northern Europe.

Marine Le Pen earlier said her father had "entered a veritable spiral between a scorched earth strategy and political suicide".

Leaving the four-hour hearing, Jean-Marie Le Pen spoke about the possibility of his expulsion. "If they take such a decision, it would be a mortal blow to the National Front,” the founder and honorary president of the party said.

Jean-Marie Le Pen has been convicted several times for racism, inciting racial hatred and denying or minimizing the Holocaust, which are considered crimes in France.

The anti-immigration National Front came first in France in last May’s European elections with about 25 percent of the vote, the party’s greatest electoral success in its 42-year history.

However, it made no gains in France's local elections in March.

Last Modified: 2015-08-22 07:12:58
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