Published: Thu, September 21, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Florian Philippot resigns from leadership of National Front

Florian Philippot resigns from leadership of National Front

His stock in the party was also damaged by his hardline stance against the euro currency, a position which many in the National Front blame for Le Pen's loss to Macron and for the party's third-place finish in June's parliamentary elections. Although Le Pen did allow to him to keep his title of vice president.

Philippot said he believed that the party's attempt to reposition itself after its disappointing performance in both the May presidential and June parliamentary elections masked "a bad backward slide" towards the FN's hardline past.

It came the morning after after Le Pen stripped him of his role as the party's chief strategist following a much publicised spat between the pair.

"Listen, I don't like being ridiculed, I've never liked having nothing to do, so sure, I'm quitting the National Front", the party's 35-year-old vice president said.

Le Pen said on Thursday the party would rebuild and said she would continue to campaign against the EU.

Following that defeat Philippot set up his own movement called "The Patriots" which at the time he said was to help spread Le Pen's message.

This is another blow to the anti-immigration and eurosceptic party which has suffered splits since its leader lost May's presidential race to Emmanuel Macron. He said the party is going backwards in a "terrifying" way.

A request rejected Tuesday by Florian Philippot.

He eventually followed through on that threat on Thursday.

The departing National Front vice-president also said he did not like being sidelined.

Le Pen's partner and party bigwig Louis Aliot celebrated the news of Philippot's demise.

Aliot launched a blistering attack on Philippot on Twitter on Thursday, accusing him of being "vain and arrogant" and of "trying to muzzle our ability to debate".

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