France gets ready to kick itself while it’s down. Hits bottom, digs even more furiously.
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France’s new president unveils pro-immigration Republican who abstained on voting on gay marriages as his prime minister
Emmanuel Macron names Le Havre mayor Edouard Philippe as Prime Minister
The 46-year-old takes over from the Socialist Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve
Republicans party MP believes France ‘is a land of immigration’ and abstained on voting on gay marriages
Edouard Philippe, 46, currently a Republican party MP, will now become President Emmanuel Macron‘s chief lieutenant.
Mr Philippe, who is also the mayor of the northern port of Le Havre, takes over from Socialist PM Bernard Cazeneuve.
Emmanuel Macron has chosen maverick conservative Edouard Philippe (pictured) as the country’s new Prime Minister
Edouard Philippe, 46, currently a Republican party MP, will now become President Emmanuel Macron’s chief lieutenant. Macron is pictured at the Elysee Palace today
The announcement of ‘Mr Philippe as prime minister’ was made in a brief statement at the Elysee Palace just before 3pm by the presidential palace’s secretary general, Alexis Kohler.
Mr Philippe, the son of teachers from Rouen, is – like Mr Macron – a product of the elite civil service school, ENA.
He began his career as a committed Socialist but then became a conservative, after working in the private sector as a lawyer, and as an executive with energy giants Areva.
The father-of-three is known for his socially conservative voting record on a range of issues, including abstaining when gay marriage legislation was successfully passed through parliament.
In 2015 he called for better treatment of immigrants to France, saying: ‘You have to enforce the law, and at the same time, we are a land of immigration. We are a host country, so we have to make sure things are going well.’
By choosing a conservative to be his first minister, the centrist independent President Macron has highlighted his determination to ignore the traditional Left-Right divide, and pick colleagues on merit.
Mr Macron himself served as an unelected Economy Minister in the Socialist government, but was not a party member at the time.
Instead he has now created his own party, REM (The Republic On the Move) and insists that anybody who wants to join will be considered.
Mr Philippe’s decision to join REM will attract other Republicans, who are traditionally France’s main governing or opposition party.
As mayor of a major English Channel port, Mr Philippe often praised the decision to keep the border with Britain shut to asylum seekers so as to make sure that migrants were processed properly in France.
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