News President François Hollande and First Lady Valérie Trierweiler

It is understood that she refused to put her name to the declaration

Hollande supporters at a rally in Paris at the weekend

Sarkozy cries 'infamy' over claim that he was bankrolled by Gaddafi

An unpleasant election campaign turned even nastier and more confusing yesterday. After days of making baseless accusations of his own, President Nicolas Sarkozy claimed that he was the "victim" of a smear plot by the Socialist front-runner, François Hollande.

Conductor in hospital after fall

The world-famous conductor Kurt Masur is recovering in hospital in Paris after he fell off a podium during a concert.

France's socialist candidate Francois Hollande says he'd keep 'burqa ban'

France's socialist presidential candidate says that, if elected, he won't seek to overturn a law banning face-covering Muslim veils enacted by President Nicolas Sarkozy's conservatives.

Archie Bland: Rise of the far right in France? It's the economy, stupid

Right-wing populism is, to be sure, a troubling presence in British politics. There's no question that the voices of the likes of the BNP and the EDL are as persistent and as seductive as they have ever been. But if they ever seem too much for you, you only need to look across the channel for an awful warning about how much worse it could be.

Nicolas Sarkozy weighs in on the issues with voters in Longjumeau, south of Paris, yesterday

Allies turn on Sarkozy as he makes his pitch to far right

President's party divided on his strategy to court NF voters, fearing he will lose centre-right support

Leading article: We need growth – and fast

For all the turmoil of recent years, the impact of the financial crisis is only just being felt

Leading article: Mr Sarkozy must reject a tainted second term

He would always be the President who sold his soul to remain in power

Nicolas Sarkozy has pledged to ‘respect’ the wishes of far-right voters

Sarkozy plays to the far right as he fights for his survival

President looks isolated as Hollande is endorsed by losing candidates and influential public figures

More than six million people voted for Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front party

John Lichfield: Le Pen's six million supporters hold the key to the Elysée

The more Nicolas Sarkozy talks the talk of the far right, the more he will alienate centrist voters

Cameron denies snubbing Hollande as Whitehall looks to build bridges

David Cameron is yet to meet François Hollande, the front-runner to become French President, Downing Street has confirmed.

European fears spark world market sell-off

World markets suffered a sell-off today amid fears that France and Holland will undermine a European treaty to tackle the debt crisis.

The incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy is widely expected to be ousted after just one fractious term in office

Hollande wins first round of French presidential elections - says exit poll

Socialist Francois Hollande has won the first round of the French presidential poll, setting up a run-off with Nicolas Sarkozy who came second, according to an exit-poll.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor