Le Pen looks to create far right dynasty


Jean-Marie Le Pen, 82, leader of the French Front National, looks set to anoint his daughter Marine Le Pen (pictured above) as his successor to lead the far right party creating a racist dynasty that will threaten the nation’s Muslim communities.

Le Pen claimed that "I didn't take to politics readily but then as the daughter of Le Pen, it is probably unavoidable that I entered the fray. Politics swallowed me up."

"Now it is my desire to carry on my father's fight," she says. "I want to strive for what he believed in, what the French people really want. And if I don't do it, I don't think anyone else is capable."

It is thought that the modern forward looking Le Pen is likely to face opposition from hard line Catholics in the party over her pro-abortion views. However she holds popular appeal with those who meet her commenting she is personable and difficult to dislike, two traits that make her a formidable politician for the far right movement in France.

This is an unnerving state of affairs for a country which was condemned by the UN last summer over the rise of racism. Le Pen’s political success coupled with the rightwing President Sarkozy's assault on Roma people, the attempted banning of the Burqa and the fact that Muslim people are discriminated against when looking for jobs means France is now one of the worst places to live in Europe if you are non white. A recent poll shows staggering levels of prejudice in the country against Muslim people with as much as 40% feeling threatened.

She will not go unopposed as a former leader of the far right group within the European Parliament and Le Pen's right hand man Bruno Gollnisch will also be standing. Although he is considered part of the old guard and preferable to some traditionalists in the party Le Pen could split the vote and possibly win given the high profile backing of her father who thinks she is best placed to achieve the unthinkable.

"The National Front is not an association of bowls players, it isn't a basketball club, it's a political organisation with heavy responsibilities," said Mr Le Pen.

The vote for the party leader will be taken among 75,000 party members. The result is to be announced at a conference in Tours on 16 January.

Leon Green