Populist firebrand and niece of Rassemblement National (National Rally) leader Marine Le Pen, Marion Maréchal, compared the French Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) protestors to supporters of Britain leaving the European Union.
The former French MP spoke to a packed crowd of 500 people at the prestigious Oxford Union earlier this week and made a 20-minute speech calling for the formation of a new “elite” who understand the needs of regular people, saying politicians need to “reconnect with the people,” La Libre reports.
“Yellow jackets are very similar to your Brexiteers,” the 29-year-old said, adding: “We are in the midst of a populist movement. Behind the word populist, there is the word people, people who have been abandoned, people who are not represented.”
Marion Maréchal Attended Yellow Vest Paris Protest, Witnessed Far-Left Extremist Infiltration Violence https://t.co/vhqlNur1lo
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 28, 2018
Maréchal also hit out at French President Emmanuel Macron, saying that she did not believe he would back a “constructive” Brexit due to the current stance of Germany and Angela Merkel.
The speech comes only weeks after Maréchal attended one of the Yellow Vest protests in Paris and claimed that the violence she witnessed had been committed by far-left extremists.
“When I arrived on the Champs-Élysées, the real ‘Yellow Vests’ were long gone. The movement was totally absorbed by left-wing activists. We heard: ‘death to capitalism!’ If this is the far-right, it has changed,” she said.
Around 60 left-wing activists protested the Frenchwoman’s speech, with shouts of “fuck the police” and “if it wasn’t for the coppers you’d be dead” being chanted, according to the Oxford Student.
Establishment Right-Wingers Have Meltdown over Marion Le Pen Invite to CPAC https://t.co/HAqUSIydOx
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 20, 2018
The speech is the second major English-language event attended by Maréchal following her appearance at the American Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) last year, in which she said, “I am not offended when I hear President Donald Trump say ‘America First’. I want America First for the American people, I want Britain First for the British people, and I want France First for the French people.”
Since stepping down as an MP in 2017, Maréchal formed the Institute for Social Sciences, Economics and Politics (ISSEP), a political management school in Lyon.
Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com