Two activists from France’s far-right National Front party have been expelled and a third suspended for allegedly sneaking laxatives into wine served to deputy leader Louis Aliot over a dispute on gay marriage.
Former youth leader for the party Jean-David Eyquem, and Jean-Baptiste Defrance, an ex-council candidate, are permanently banned from the group for allegedly attempting to sabotage a press conference held in May by Mr Aliot, also partner of five years to party leader Marine Le Pen, officials confirmed.
Damien Obrador, a councillor for the town of Cabanac-et-Villagrains, near Bordeaux, was suspended for a year by the same disciplinary council that started investigating the case in October. Mr Obrador is claimed to have caused upset among party traditionalists last March when he told VSD magazine that “50 per cent of the Front’s youth league in the Gironde [region] are gay”.
He tweeted that he refuted all “defamatory” comments made by Jacques Colombiers, the local Front leader, who is a staunch opponent of France’s gay marriage law.
The men – in their 20s – are believed to have been involved in “pranks” amid rising tensions in the party between over the subject of same-sex marriage due to unscrewing light bulbs, putting laxatives in wine and exposing text messages sent to Mr Aliot’s by his party rivals.
“These were pranks with bad taste aimed at destabilising Jacques Colombiers,” Bruno Gollnisch, the Front’s former deputy leader, told French newspaper Metronews.
Mr Aliot is reported to have declined to comment on the alleged sabotage, pending completion of the investigation, but he confirmed that the wine had been tampered with.
The two expelled activists are yet to comment.Reuse content