Beleaguered French presidential candidate Francois Fillon was put on the defensive again over the weekend following two fresh controversies. Mr Fillon's party apologised on Saturday for tweeting a caricature of rival Emmanuel Macron that Mr Fillon ...and more »
Francois Fillon's campaign has been hit by a series of scandals
Beleaguered French presidential candidate Francois Fillon was put on the defensive again over the weekend following two fresh controversies.Mr Fillon's party apologised on Saturday for tweeting a caricature of rival Emmanuel Macron that Mr Fillon admitted was anti-Semitic.And on Sunday it emerged that he had accepted two suits from a friend worth â‚¬13,000 (Â£11,500; $13,900).France sets a limit of â‚¬4,600 that any individual can donate to a candidate."A friend gave me suits as a present in February. So what?" Mr Fillon said in an interview with French news daily Les Echos on Sunday.Payment investigation: What you need to know
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The caricature of Mr Macron, Mr Fillon's main rival, showed the candidate with a hooked nose, wearing a top hat and carrying a red sickle with which he was cutting a cigar. Mr Macron is not Jewish but the image appeared to take aim as his past in banking. Critics said it was reminiscent of anti-Semitic Nazi propaganda.Mr Fillon acknowledged the similarity, saying that the cartoon "evoked the images of a dark period of our history and exploited an ideology that I have always fought against".And he added on Twitter: "Politics is tough but it must remain dignified. I will not tolerate my party using caricatures that use the themes of anti-Semitic propaganda."Mr Fillon was at one point the favourite to win the presidency but his campaign has been hit by a series of scandals, including an investigation into allegations that he paid his wife â‚¬831,400 (Â£710,000; $900,000) of public funds for work she didn't do.He denies any wrongdoing.
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