Marine Le Pen accuses Farage of slander
Spat comes as founder of Ukip calls Farage a ‘dim, racist alcoholic’
MARINE LE PEN, the leader of France’s far-right Front National party, has accused Nigel Farage of slander after the Ukip leader said her party is anti-semitic. The spat follows Ukip’s rejection of an alliance with the FN in the European Parliament.
Earlier this week, Marine Le Pen said that a coalition with Ukip "as long as it's in the interest of the European people for us to join together in a common project to fight the European Union".
On Friday, Farage rejected the idea, saying that although Le Pen has “some great qualities” and is “achieving remarkable things”, there is "prejudice and anti-Semitism" in the Front National.
But today, Le Pen has hit back, telling the Sunday Times that Farage had made made "defamatory" and "extremely disagreeable declarations" to win popularity at the expense of her party.
She added: "He is often reproached for the behaviour and comments of a certain number of his party members.
"Slandering your neighbour to try to make yourself look whiter than white, it's not correct. He's doing it simply for electoral purposes."
The spat with the FN comes as Farage faces the unwanted attentions of a ghost from his past: the founder of Ukip, Dr Alan Sked.
Dr Sked, a London School of Economics professor, gave an interview with the right-wing think tank Parliament Street in which he called Farage a “dim, racist alcoholic”.
Referring to Farage’s assessment of Vladimir Putin as a politician he admired, Dr Sked said he wasn’t surprised. “In many ways [Putin] is a healthy version of Nigel,” he says.
“He doesn’t smoke or drink and he does judo, though I don’t much like the idea of Nigel taking his shirt off.
“But Putin is an anti-intellectual bully and more successful than Nigel so I can see why he would admire him. I’m sure he’s sees him as a role model.”