France’s National Front chief Marine Le Pen said Sunday her father should “no longer be able to speak in the name of” the party, as a bitter public feud between the two continues.
Jean-Marie Le Pen infuriated some last month by reiterating his long-held view that the Nazi gas chambers were merely a “detail of history”, as well as making other controversial remarks defending the “white world”.
Previously he hailed the outbreak of Ebola in Africa as welcome. His latest comments also come in the wake of a recent controversial interview with Ursula Haverbeck on Germany’s ARD channel in which Haverbeck claims that the “Holocaust was the biggest pack of lies in history“.
Le Pen earlier praised French wartime leader Philippe Petain, who collaborated with the Nazis.
Marine condemned the comments as “political suicide” and a highly-publicised spat between them saw the 86-year-old party founder forced to pull out of upcoming regional elections.
“Jean-Marie Le Pen should no longer be able to talk in the name of the National Front, his comments are against the fixed (party) line,” she told French radio.
Marine Le Pen has been actively trying to distance the party from its racist and anti-Semitic image as she plans her bid for the next French presidential election in 2017.
Jean-Marie Le Pen was conspicuously dropped from a line-up of National Front leaders on stage during the party’s traditional May 1 rally in Paris.
But determined to upstage his daughter, he nevertheless strided uninvited onto the podium to take the ovation of the crowd.
“I think that was a malicious act, I think it was an act of contempt towards me,” Marine said Sunday.
Jean-Marie Le Pen has been summoned Monday to appear before the party’s top executive authority, which will examine whether to take action against him following last month’s comments.
The FN’s honourary president was in hot water just days before because allegations emerged that he had stashed 2.2 million euros in a secret Swiss bank account.
Some protesters also tried to take the stage at the event, but the old patriarch upstaged the opportunists.