Marine Le Pen, the French nationalist and eurosceptic, is said to be reconsidering her plan to visit Britain following opposition from some campaigning to leave the European Union (EU).
“There is no date set and there never was, we just raised the possibility a few weeks ago. We will discuss it again when we have our next weekly meeting, but it’s still at the stage of an idea.”
Mr. Chenu’s comments came in the wake of the intervention of Labour Member of Parliament and Chair of Vote Leave, Gisela Stuart. On hearing of Ms. Le Pen’s proposed visit, Ms. Stuart urged the British government to bar her from entering the country on account of her “divisive and inflammatory” views.
The British politician’s call has been an embarrassment for Ms. Le Pen who previously praised Britain’s ‘Leave’ campaign, one she regards as a model for her own suggested referendum on French membership of the EU. Nevertheless Mr. Chenu has attempted to minimise the differences between the two women, saying:
“That was no big deal for [Ms. Le Pen]. They agree on the basics — they’re both Eurosceptics. She has probably been contaminated by the anti-National Front propaganda that’s still very strong in the U.K. and Canada.”
Canada was mentioned as a reference to Ms. Le Pen’s trip to that country in March, during which nearly all Canadian politicians refused to meet with her.
As Breitbart London previously reported Ms. Le Pen has overseen the modernisation of the FN into an anti-EU, anti-mass immigration party in order to give her the best chance of a presidential run in 2017. She wants the party to be defined by its opposition to the EU and a robust defence of republican secularism, not the xenophobia and anti-Semitism for which it became known when her father was in charge.
Mr. Chenu’s involvement at a senior level within the FN is itself an example of her reforms. He joins the party’s Vice President Florian Philippot as another openly gay man closely allied to Ms. Le Pen.