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22 Dec, 2016 16:39

‘Homosexuals are like salt in soup,’ says National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen

‘Homosexuals are like salt in soup,’ says National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen

The founder of France's far-right National Front party, Jean-Marie Le Pen, has compared homosexuals to salt in soup, telling a newspaper that "if there's too much, it's undrinkable." The full online video of his interview has since been removed.

Speaking to Le Figaro newspaper during a Facebook Live event on Wednesday, Le Pen said that "homosexuals are like salt in soup, if there is none at all, it is a little bland, but if there is too much, it is undrinkable."

The video of the interview has since been withdrawn from Le Figaro's website. 

It's far from the first controversial remark to be made by Le Pen. In April, he was fined €30,000 (US$31,374) for comments made on a French television show last year in which he said that gas chambers used to kill Jews in the Holocaust were only a "detail" of history. He had already received two previous civil court convictions for making the same comment. He first stated that view in 1987, and repeated it in Germany and the European Parliament.

On the same day he was fined €30,000, Le Pen also received an additional €5,000 penalty and was convicted of "provoking hatred and ethnic discrimination" for telling a public meeting in 2013 that Roma in the city of Nice were "rash-inducing."

In 2012, Le Pen was convicted for saying the Nazi occupation of France was "not particularly inhumane."

He had a falling-out with his own daughter, National Front presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, over his controversial comments.

The younger Le Pen moved to expel her father from the party he founded, as she aimed to distance herself from anti-Semitic overtones. Jean-Marie Le Pen was officially ousted from the National Front in August 2015.

He later contested the move, although a court upheld the expulsion decision in November. However, the court did state that Le Pen should be able to keep his title as honorary president of the party, and the National Front must invite him to leadership meetings or face a fine.

Meanwhile, Marine Le Pen is gearing up for the 2017 presidential race, with recent opinion polls cited by Reuters stating that she has the support of around one-quarter of French voters.

Following France's 2017 presidential election, the elder Le Pen reportedly plans to field his own candidates for parliament against his daughter under his own political banner.