Jean-Marie Le Pen pulled out of regional elections

Jean-Marie Le Pen, the founder of France’s National Front (FN), pulled out of regional elections  after a fierce public spat with his daughter, who now leads the far-right party, reports

The move promises to ease tensions both within the Le Pen family and the anti-European, anti-immigration FN, which has enjoyed considerable electoral success in recent years as Marine Le Pen seeks to clean up its racist and anti-Semitic image.

Le Pen senior, 86, incurred his daughter’s wrath earlier this month by repeating an assertion that the Nazi gas chambers were a “detail of history”. He then followed that up with a defence of France’s World War II leader Philippe Petain, who collaborated with the Nazis. This appeared to be the last straw for Marine, who accused her father of committing “political suicide” and said she would not support his standing in regional elections in December.

After days of sniping that have dominated the headlines in France, Le Pen senior appeared to fall on his sword on Monday 13 April. He told Le Figaro magazine he would not be standing in the southeast of France for the party, even though “I think I was the best candidate for the National Front”.