Former senior advisor to President Donald Trump and former Executive Chairman of Breitbart News Stephen K. Bannon is set to speak at a major rally of the French populist Front National which could see the party totally rebranded.
The former presidential senior advisor is set to give a surprise speech in Lille this weekend at a major conference that many believe will see Front National leader and former presidential candidate Marine Le Pen rebrand the party and potentially even rename it.
The bombshell was announced by the partner of Marine Le Pen and Front National politician, Louis Aliot on Twitter Friday.
Bienvenu à Steve Bannon qui vient s’adresser au @FN_officiel demain à notre #CongresFN2018 et rencontrer @MLP_officiel. Les peuples se réveillent et reprennent leur destin en main. Welcome to Steve Bannon who will address #FN convention in Lille tomorrow. #BannonLille pic.twitter.com/fs25DKQS86
— Louis Aliot (@louis_aliot) March 9, 2018
Ms Le Pen, who came second in the presidential race last year but was later elected to the French parliament, said recently that the Front National, which was founded by her father Jean-Marie Le Pen in 1971, had grown up and it was time to change the branding and the name of the party.
The idea of a party name change had been rumoured as early as May of 2017, only days after the presidential vote.
“The National Front has become an adult. The National Front today has changed in nature. It went from a party of protest first in its youth, then from a party of opposition to a party of government,” Le Pen said Friday on French broadcaster France 2.
WATCH — Steve Bannon Recalls Brexit Victory Night During Zurich Speech, Warns EU ‘Better Start Listening’ https://t.co/KQFjrtfTsK
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 8, 2018
Le Pen said that the Front National, “must acquire the culture of alliances, acquire the culture of a government party,” and added,” changing the name is one of the ways to make it known.”
The political stances of the party will not change according to Le Pen who said it will still stand for, “the defence of identity, French culture, security, the fight against immigration, and the defence of a social model, of national solidarity and especially of national sovereignty.”
The speech will be the second in Europe for Mr Bannon who recently spoke to a sold-out arena in Zurich, Switzerland where he spoke on the subject of on populism of the left and the right.
Bannon told the audience that populist movements were a positive development and said, “the European Central Bank and the guys in Brussels better start listening or they’re going to have a bigger revolt on their hands than they have today.”