External Content

The following content is sourced from external partners. We cannot guarantee that it is suitable for the visually or hearing impaired.

FILE PHOTO: Xavier Bertrand, president of the French Hauts-de-France region and member of the Republicans political party, arrives to attend a political council at the party headquarters in Paris, France, April 24, 2017 the day after the first round of the French presidential election. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe


PARIS (Reuters) - Right-wing heavyweight Xavier Bertrand quit France's main conservative party, The Republicans, on Monday, highlighting the challenges its new chief will face in trying to keep the party together.

The move comes a day after party members overwhelmingly elected Laurent Wauquiez as a their new boss, following a campaign during which he said President Emmanuel Macron was too weak on security and immigration.

"I don't recognise my political family, so I decided to leave it," Bertrand, a former health minister and current head of Hauts-de-France, a region in northern France, said on France 2 TV station.

Bertrand's move underlines growing concern among moderate members of The Republicans about the party's direction, after a disastrous presidential campaign that saw its candidate eliminated in the first round.

Some have said Wauquiez was hauling the party too far to the right and running after the National Front, whose leader Marine Le Pen made it to the second round of the presidential election last May.

"Xavier Bertrand obviously considers that he has no place (in the party). It's his choice. I respect it," Wauquiez said on TF1 TV station, in reaction to the news.

"I move forward, I look to the future and what I want is to make a new generation emerge, this new right that live to its ideas," he said.

(Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain and Simon Carraud, editing by Larry King)

Neuer Inhalt

Horizontal Line

swissinfo EN

Teaser Join us on Facebook!

Join us on Facebook!

subscription form

Form for signing up for free newsletter.

Sign up for our free newsletters and get the top stories delivered to your inbox.

Click here to see more newsletters