Nigel Farage endorses far-right Marine Le Pen to be French president

The former Ukip leader said the National Front politician's victory would be good for the UK

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Nigel Farage has endorsed far-right politician Marine Le Pen to win the French presidential election, arguing that her victory would be good for the UK.

The former Ukip leader said the politician’s election would hasten the disintegration of the European Union and that she was “enthusiastic” about a trade deal with the UK.

Ms Le Pen went into the first round as the National Front’s candidate but has since quit the party in a bid to detoxify her own brand. She has campaigned on cracking down against religious minorities and espouses nationalism and trade protectionism. 

“From a UK perspective, as we enter tough negotiations, what is best for our country?” Mr Farage wrote in an article for the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

“I have no doubt that a Le Pen victory would give the EU an even bigger headache than the UK voting for Brexit, which is why the European Commission is openly backing Macron.

“She wants a positive relationship with Britain and was enthusiastic about a bilateral trade deal in the future. She is being grown-up on the issue of trade post-Brexit.”

Mr Farage also predicted that if Ms Le Pen did not win in 2017 she would win the next French presidential election in 2022.

The Ukip MEP, who still leads his party’s group in the European Parliament, added: “Her victory would take much of the pressure off our negotiations. She will put France first and take her country out of the euro, which has damaged their competitiveness.

“A Le Pen victory would be the beginning of the end for this failed project.”

Mr Farage attracted criticism for his endorsement. Lib Dem foreign affairs spokesperson Tom Brake said the politician’s “mask is slipping, revealing a more sinister face” than before.

The Ukip politician previously shied away from allying with the National Front in the European Parliament but interviewed Ms Le Pen on his LBC radio programme in March.

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