French minister resigns after luxury dinners scandal

France's Environment Minister Francois de Rugy was appointed in September 2018 to succeed Mr Nicolas Hulot, a well-known environmental campaigner who had quit because he did not feel President Emmanuel Macron was sufficiently committed to his ecology
France's Environment Minister Francois de Rugy was appointed in September 2018 to succeed Mr Nicolas Hulot, a well-known environmental campaigner who had quit because he did not feel President Emmanuel Macron was sufficiently committed to his ecology programme.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP, REUTERS) - France's Environment Minister Francois de Rugy on Tuesday (July 16) said he was resigning after reports accusing him of extravagant spending, including on luxury dinners, but lashed out at what he described as a "media lynching".

"The attacks and media lynching targeting my family force me to take the necessary step back... I presented my resignation to the prime minister this morning," said Mr Rugy, who also held the post of minister of state which made him the No. 2 in the government after Prime Minister Edouard Philippe.

"I would like to thank the president of the Republic and the prime minister for the trust they have shown in me," Mr Rugy wrote, adding that he had filed a criminal complaint against the investigative website Mediapart over its reporting.

Mr Rugy, 45, was appointed in September 2018 to succeed Mr Nicolas Hulot, a well-known environmental campaigner who had quit because he did not feel President Emmanuel Macron was sufficiently committed to his ecology programme.