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Clouds over French far-right party as father, daughter row

Published on Jun 9, 2014 11:37 PM

PARIS (AFP) - The unity of France's far-right National Front has cracked as founder Jean-Marie Le Pen and his daughter and party leader Marine engaged in an unprecedented public war of words, just as she is struggling to create a new EU eurosceptic group.

The crisis kicked off last week when a video was posted on the National Front (FN) website in which Mr Le Pen made an apparent anti-Semitic pun - the latest in a series of controversial statements by the 85-year-old who has had multiple convictions for inciting racial hatred and denying crimes against humanity.

As in previous instances, anti-racism campaigners were quick to condemn the remark. But this time, members of the FN itself also rose up in anger, including Mr Le Pen's daughter Marine, who took over the party leadership in 2011.

She has sought to rid the National Front of its reputation for racism and anti-Semitism ever since, in a move known as the "de-demonisation" of the party.

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