France's Le Pen praises UK's May

Cheryl Sanders
February 24, 2017

Marine Le Pen took over leadership of the party in 2011 and has softened some of its views, increasing its appeal to a broader spectrum of voters.

LONDON, Feb 23 (Reuters) - The extra return investors demand to hold French rather than German debt shrank from multi-year highs on Thursday as a new centrist pact in France's presidential election race eased market concerns about far-rightist Marine Le Pen gaining ground.

A third poll, collected by Ifop Fiducial over the past three days and so including some reaction to Wednesday night's tie-up with Bayrou, showed Macron's first round score boosted by 3.5 points to 22.5 percent, ahead of Fillon on 20.5.

On Tuesday, her spokesman said that as a rule the United Kingdom government did not engage with the anti-immigration National Front led by Le Pen.

Independent centrist Emmanuel Macron was seen coming in second in the first round with 21 per cent of the vote, down one percentage point, followed by conservative Francois Fillon at 19 per cent, also down one percentage point.

"When you're neither on the right nor on the left, in fact you're just on the right". Both have denied wrongdoing.

Griset and Legier are key figures in an investigation opened following demands by the European Parliament that Le Pen repay money she is accused of wrongly paying the two.

Macron served under Socialist President Francois Hollande as economy minister, deregulating Sunday trading and coach bus transport. Investigators are also looking at other National Front members' use of parliamentary aides.

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