Jean-Marie Le Pen, the founder of France’s far-right National Front, has been suspended from the party following a series of highly controversial remarks addressing Jews and Nazism.
According to Mashable, Le Pen’s membership in the party was suspended on Monday by the National Front’s executive bureau. The decision was taken ahead of a party-wide vote on the abolition of the position of honorary president for life, which Jean-Marie Le Pen has held since 2010. A majority of the party’s leadership supports the dissolution of the position, and the matter will be put before the National Front’s membership for a vote within three months.
— TIME.com (@TIME) May 5, 2015
The censure comes amid controversial comments by Le Pen, in which he described Nazi gas chambers as “a detail of history,” and expressed his desire to protect the “white world.” As Yahoo News notes, the disciplinary meeting was called by his daughter, Marine Le Pen, who is the current leader of the party. National Front spokesman Alain Vizier noted that Le Pen’s suspension does not affect his seat at the European Parliament.
— The Local France (@TheLocalFrance) May 4, 2015
Le Pen’s daughter has been attempting to distance the National Front, which the elder Le Pen founded in 1972 and led for four decades, from its image as a racist and anti-Semitic party ahead of France’s 2017 elections, leading to a public feud with her father. Jean-Marie Le Pen, furious at his suspension from the party, had harsh words for his daughter, saying he would disown her, telling her to “give up her name.” Le Pen also asserted that party leadership should expect him to use any means at his disposal to fight the decision. When asked in a radio interview if he wished his daughter to win the 2017 elections, Le Pen conceded that for the moment, he does not.
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) April 29, 2015
Last year, Jean-Marie Le Pen made headlines when he suggested that an outbreak of Ebola could be a blessing in disguise if it struck Europe. As the Inquisitr previously reported, Le Pen suggested that problems of immigration could be set right “in three months” by the disease.
The 86-year-old Le Pen has previously been convicted of denying the Holocaust as a result of similar remarks. When he repeated those comments last month and praised Vichy France leader and Nazi collaborator Philippe Petain, Marine said she would not support her father’s bid for regional election. She also referred to the statements that led to Jean-Marie Le Pen’s suspension from the party as “political suicide.”
[Photo by Patrick Durand/ Stringer via Getty Images]