National Front leader Marine Le Pen in row with father over 'anti-Semitic' video

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 June, 2014, 1:12am
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 June, 2014, 1:12am


A rift between the founder of France's far-right National Front party and his daughter, now its leader, has widened over an apparently anti-Semitic pun made by the father in a video.

Jean-Marie Le Pen, 85, stirred up controversy yet again in a video recently posted on the party's website in which he vowed to put his critics in their place - including French singer Patrick Bruel, who is Jewish - using a pun suggesting Nazi gas chambers.

The video was immediately denounced by Le Pen's daughter Marine, who took over the party's leadership in 2011, as a "political error".

It is the first time she has publicly criticised her father, who has multiple convictions for inciting racial hatred and denying crimes against humanity.

The video has been taken off the party's website for "legal reasons". Jean-Marie Le Pen said he was hurt by the action and had received "no communication" from his daughter.

"As far as my feelings go, I am very hurt," he said. "I can take direct hits to the face, but not cowardly ones in the back."

Marine Le Pen has been trying to detoxify the image of the party as a racist and anti-Semitic group. The party came first in France with 25 per cent of the vote in European elections and did better than expected in local polls in March.