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FRENCH far-right leader Marine Le Pen proposed renaming the National Front party co-founded by her father 46 years ago as National Rally yesterday, saying it would make it more successful.
Ms Le Pen’s proposal to supposedly open a new era for the hate mob with a new name topped her closing speech at the party’s two-day congress in Lille, the capital of the National Front’s northern heartland.
The new name must be approved by party members in a postal vote for it to be adopted.
Ms Le Pen acknowledged that the National Front name was linked to the party’s “glorious” past but was a barrier to it attracting more voters.
The party also severed its last ties to Ms Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who was not allowed to attend the congress.
Mr Le Pen is less media-savvy than his daughter. She suspended him following explicitly racist and anti-semitic statements in a bid to whitewash the National Front’s image.
Delegates approved a new leadership structure that stripped Mr Le Pen of any formal position and re-elected Ms Le Pen as party president.
Earlier in the conference, far-right former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon had addressed the delegates.
He told them to wear accusations of racism and xenophobia as “badge[s] of honour” and that they were “part of a worldwide movement bigger than France, bigger than Italy,” where rightwingers have recently done well at the ballot box.
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