Le Pen says Trump victory boosts her chances for presidency, likens NF to UKIP
Marine Le Pen, far-right leader of the National Front, has said Donald Trump’s presidential win has increased her chances of becoming France’s next president. She also said “there’s not a hair’s breadth of difference” between UKIP and her party.
In an interview with the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Le Pen stated that president-elect Trump “made possible what had previously been presented as impossible.”
Le Pen made the comments during a pre-recorded interview with Marr, which was aired on Sunday and was widely criticized by many viewers for giving a platform to the far-right leader.
When asked about Trump’s victory in the US elections, she said her own chances of leadership were now more likely.
“Yes, I wish that in France also the people upend the table, the table around which the elite are dividing up what should go to the French people,” Le Pen told the BBC.
I understand the anger at the Le Pen interview today on #Marr but perhaps allowing freedom of speech is more poignant today of all days.— Jasmine Pengelly (@StackJaz) November 13, 2016
She also defended her party against claims of being racist and when asked if "Muslims can be good French citizens and be welcome in Marine Le Pen's France," she replied, "We are not going to welcome any more people. Stop, we are full up!"
Le Pen claimed, however, that she didn’t “judge people on their religion” but added that if people did not “comply with our codes, our values, our French lifestyles” then the country would “act accordingly.”
When asked about UKIP, Le Pen said there isn’t a “hair’s breadth” between the National Front and Nigel Farage’s party.
Farage has attempted to distance UKIP from the National Front in the past and rejected support from Le Pen during the Brexit campaign.
Le Pen told Marr that it was “ridiculous” for UKIP to deny similarities between both parties.
“Sorry, no, but objectively, there is on the topic of immigration and the European Union, there is not a hair’s breadth of difference between what UKIP thinks and what the National Front thinks, let’s be truthful here,” Le Pen said.
“Maybe UKIP is trying to counter the demonisation they are victim of by saying ‘we are the good guys and the National Front are the bad guys’, they can do so, but I don’t feel obliged to follow this strategy, because frankly I feel it’s a little bit ridiculous,” she added.
Le Pen is leading in a number of polls and is expected to enter the second round of the French elections in May 2017. She succeeded her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, as leader of the National Front in 2011.