French MP Laurianne Rossi is punched in the head in street market attack

PUBLISHED : Monday, 31 July, 2017, 12:21pm
UPDATED : Monday, 31 July, 2017, 9:34pm

An MP from French President Emmanuel Macron’s party was punched in the head at a market on Sunday, the second such attack on a female MP in as many months.

Laurianne Rossi, one of scores of young lawmakers from Macron’s Republic on the Move party who made their parliamentary debut in June, was handing out leaflets on a market in Bagneux, south of Paris, when the man struck.

Rossi, 33, said the man was “obviously hostile to the government’s policy” and accused the ruling party MPs of being the president’s “stooges”.

“I started to respond but I did not have the time to finish. He landed a strong punch on my right temple and fled,” she said.

He was quickly overpowered by party activists and traders, who handed him over to the police.

Rossi, who filed a criminal complaint over the attack, admitted to being “a bit shocked” by the incident in her constituency.

“No political disagreement justifies violence, against elected representatives and women to boot,” she wrote on Twitter.

Macron tweeted his support for the lawmaker, saying she was attacked for “defending her convictions.”

“Respecting lawmakers is respecting the Republic,” he wrote.

Several opposition politicians also condemned the attack, which comes in a year which has seen growing hostility towards politicians.

During campaigning in June’s parliamentary election, a man attacked Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet of the centre-right Republicans party by shoving a handful of election pamphlets in her face, causing her to fall and hit her head.

Kosciusko-Morizet, who failed to win re-election to the National Assembly, was briefly hospitalised over the incident for which her attacker received a suspended four-month sentence and a fine.

During the presidential campaign, several candidates were targeted in more innocuous strikes using eggs or flour. On a visit to a farm fair Macron received an egg on the head.