Published: Sat, March 18, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

French election: Odds of Macron Presidency improved after Dutch election

French election: Odds of Macron Presidency improved after Dutch election

According to a transcript of the LBC interview, which was conducted by anti-EU British politician Nigel Farage, Le Pen said the decision to host Macron was inconsistent with May's own stance on delivering Brexit and reducing immigration to Britain.

She said: "I see no reason why France and Great Britain should not have excellent relations".

Le Pen's father, a co-founder of the party, was a fierce anti-Semitist and had faced convictions over his description of Holocaust as a "detail of history".

Le Pen's rivals for the presidency were quick to welcome the Dutch result, which centrist Emmanuel Macron said showed that "a breakthrough for the extreme right is not a foregone conclusion and that progressives are gaining momentum". "There is still a probability that Le Pen will become president, so I don't think we should rule that out".

But Farage appears to have softened his stance with images showing him smiling and joking with Le Pen as he interviewed her for his United Kingdom radio show.

She skirted around questions about anti-Semitism within her party, asking to be judged on her reaction to it instead. "There weren't mass murders as it's been said", Loeuillet reportedly said in the documentary, which is to be aired later Wednesday.

Farage praised le Pen, saying she had a connection to the French people and asked her why she felt she was the best candidate in the field.

Frédéric Chatillon and two other party officials already face trial accused of setting up a scheme to overcharge for campaign expenses that were reimbursed by the state during the 2012 general election campaign. She has previously denied the claims.

And while Fillon has crashed from first to third place in polls after a scandal over payments from public funds to his wife, Le Pen has shrugged off complaints about her payment of European Union funds to bodyguard and assistants.

Ahead of the broadcast, Ruth Smeeth, the Labour MP who is now chair of Labour Friends of Hope not Hate, said that the interview should be watched carefully.

Current polls suggest the National Front candidate will scrape first position in the first round of the coming French presidential election but lose badly in the second round, when all but the top two candidates from the first round are eliminated.

"That is where the populist action is and that is what we should be focusing upon", she said.

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