British Ambassador to France Says UK will not Deal with Marine Le Pen
The United Kingdom's ambassador to France said that the embassy does not plan to forge links with far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen.
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According to the ambassador, this is because the United Kingdom government has a policy of not engaging with Marine Le Pen's party, the Front National (FN).
Ed Llewellyn, the previous chief of staff of David Cameron in Downing Street, told MPs that although the embassy staff were making contact with other French presidential candidates, they did not have relations with Marine Le Pen.
"With respect to the Front National, we have a policy of not engaging, there is a longstanding policy. That is the policy, which has been the policy for many years," Llewellyn told the foreign affairs committee.
Showing his surprise, Committee Chair Crispin Blunt asked, "If it is clear she is polling in second place and so will make the run-off, shouldn't that be...?" Llewellyn, on the other hand, responded that any change would be a matter for ministers.
Many observers expected Le Pen to make the final round runoff in May against one of the other leading presidential candidates, most likely Francois Fillon, a center-right Republican. Le Pen could also run against Emmanuel Macron, an independent, barring an unlikely last-minute revival for the yet to be selected socialist candidate.
Current polls indicate that Le Pen could lose the runoff to either Fillon or Macron due to tactical voting by moderates.
The United Kingdom's ambassador to the US, Sir Kim Darroch, and other members of the UK government were criticized for being unprepared for Donald Trump's victory in last year's Presidential elections.
Trump's team complained to Ukip's Nigel Farage about the unflattering comments made about his presidential bid by members of the British government.
Le Pen is an avid fan of Donald Trump, and her anti-Muslim remarks have seen her charged with hate speech.