Dr David Lees, expert in French politics from the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, discusses Former French Prime Minister François Fillon’s appearance in court for his role in a "fake jobs" scandal.
"Former candidate in the French presidential elections, the centre-right François Fillon, finds himself in court charged with paying his wife for a job she never actually did. Fillon was the favourite for the presidency in 2017 but his popularity plummeted when allegations of the ‘fake jobs’ scandal broke. Fillon still finished third in the 2017 poll but his campaign is best described as controversial. Fillon might be going through the French justice system now, but the damage for him and his party has already been done. Indeed, since Emmanuel Macron swept to power on the back of his centrist campaign, the French centre-right party Les Républicains has been reduced to the role of bit-part player in the French political landscape. The collapse of Fillon’s campaign thus led to the near-total collapse of support for the French centre-right, leaving the extreme-right Rassemblement National party as the most significant opposition to Macron’s La République en Marche in the National Assembly."
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