France's far-right FN vice president quits over internal disputes

Member of the European Parliament Florian Philippot

French National Front's Philippot Quits Party Over Disagreement With Le Pen AFP 2017 PATRICK KOVARIK

Listen, I'm not into being ridiculed and I've never been into having nothing to do, and so, yes, of course I'm quitting the Front National. If he doesn't accept (to choose), I'll choose for him", Le Pen said, adding, "He's created a conflict of interest.

In this Sunday March 23, 2014 file photo, French far right party vice-president and candidate for the March 2014 municipal elections, Florian Philippot, leaves a booth to vote for the municipal elections, in Forbach, eastern France.

Philippot and Le Pen, who was beaten by President Emmanuel Macron in the country's runoff presidential election in May, were reportedly deeply divided over Philippot's side project - a conservative movement called Les Patriotes seemingly inspired in part by the Republican Tea Party offshoot.

Philippot has always been one of Le Pen's closest allies.

Shortly before losing the second round of the presidential election, Le Pen said the party might be rethinking its position on abandoning the euro.

During the summer, party officials said that Philippot was less involved in day-to-day affairs after the defeat. Wednesday, September 20, the day before the departure of Florian Philippot, Louis Aliot advised him to go "to heal". But with the creation of his association, "there was a strategy to raise tensions ..."

Party secretary-general Nicolas Bay said on France Info radio Thursday that the group "has all the characteristics of a micro political party".

Elsewhere in her remarks, she said Philippot needed to make up his mind quickly.

A "pretext", according to the man who was the conductor of the "dédiabolisation" the extreme-right party, to hide the "back" awful "of FN in the discussion of the "reinvention" undertaken by Marine Le Pen".

The departure of Florian Philippot, for years Le Pen's closest aide and a key architect of efforts to detoxify the party's image while campaigning against the euro, had looked increasingly inevitable as the party bickered over who was to blame for a damaging electoral cycle. "But most will be relieved".

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