French EU lawmaker Collard joins far-right presidential candidate Zemmour


  • World
  • Saturday, 22 Jan 2022

FILE PHOTO: French far-right Rassemblement National (RN) political party and MEP Gilbert Collard delivers a speech during the Convention de la Droite meeting in Paris, France, September 28, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

PARIS (Reuters) -European Parliament member Gilbert Collard said on Saturday he is leaving Marine Le Pen's National Rally to join rival far-right presidential candidate Eric Zemmour, becoming the third Le Pen ally in a week to link up with Zemmour.

Last week, Jerome Riviere, head of Le Pen's National Rally group in the European Parliament, and Damien Rieu, parliamentary assistant to another National Rally EU lawmaker, also quit to join Zemmour's ranks.

"I have nothing against Marine Le Pen ... I join Eric Zemmour because of his ideas," Collard said in an interview with France Bleu Gard Lozere.

Former TV talk show host Zemmour and Le Pen are vying for the far-right vote, hoping to beat President Emmanuel Macron in the April election.

For several weeks last year, opinion polls indicated that Zemmour - who has been convicted several times for inciting racial hatred - had a chance of placing second in the presidential poll and facing Macron in a run-off. His campaign has since lost some steam and he now polls fourth.

National Rally (RN) officials played down Collard's departure, saying it would not affect Le Pen's presidential bid.

"We did not see much support from Collard to Marine's campaign and at any rate, the polls show that she is the one who can beat Macron," RN spokesman Philippe Ballard said on BFM television.

Opinion polls put Macron in the lead, followed by Le Pen or conservative challenger Valerie Pecresse.

"The arrival of Gilbert Collard is a friend joining us," Zemmour said at a campaign rally in Cannes.

(Reporting by Geert De Clercq and Claude Chendjou;Editing by Frances Kerry and Louise Heavens)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In World

Some 10,000 Russian troops in Ukraine's Luhansk region - governor
Booking hotels online: Why you can never trust reviews 100%
Dyson shows off robotic arm that can find crisps at back of your sofa
Ukraine says Russian advances could force retreat in part of east
'Message to the world' - Lithuanians club together to buy drone for Ukraine
Research: Google Chrome only blocking a quarter of phishing websites
Google Street View’s ‘time travel’ feature comes to smartphones
Meta eyes profits with new WhatsApp platform for businesses
Roundup: U.S. Fed's closely watched inflation measure up 6.3 pct in April
U.S.-listed Chinese firms trade mostly higher

Others Also Read