The leader of France's main right-wing party yesterday said he backed an alliance with the far right of Marine Le Pen in snap legislative elections, triggering a crisis within his own party and fury from the government.

The stunning announcement by the Republicans (LR) leader Eric Ciotti in a lunchtime television interview is the first time in modern French political history that a leader of a traditional party has backed an alliance with the far-right National Rally (RN).

President Emmanuel Macron called the polls on June 30, with a second round on July 7, in a gamble after the RN scored more than double the number of votes of his centrist alliance in EU elections.


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