France's far-right party now 'adult' and needs name change: Le Pen

Raikkonen'can't wait for F1 season as testing ends

Raikkonen'can't wait for F1 season as testing ends

Steve Bannon told members of the French National Front, a far right wing political party that has been labeled neo-fascist, they should wear their racism as a badge of honor.

Bannon's appearance was his latest stop on a European tour centered on last week's Italian election.

Clad in his usual field coat and khakis, Bannon stood on stage to address the seated crowd of party elites, who were dressed in suits. From his travels, Bannon said he is now certain "history is on our side".

And heading the line-up of guest speakers is Donald Trump's former adviser Steve Bannon. When Bannon, a former Goldman Sachs investment banker, mentioned that he once sold a company to the French bank Société Generale, the room erupted in jeers, not cheers.

"She is not simply a rising star on the right in France".

Her speech echoed numerous statements of Donald Trump, the man Bannon helped get elected to the USA presidency. "I want Britain first for the British people, and I want France first for the French people".

Bannon, was once Trump's chief strategist, and championed his "America First" agenda during both the campaign and the president's first eight months in office.

Macron won with 66% of the vote vs. 34% for Le Pen, who had threatened to curb immigration and pull France out of the European Union, among other measures.

Ten months ago, the party was on a high after Le Pen saw off the Socialist candidate to take the FN into the second round of the presidential election with unprecedented support, though not enough to defeat Macron.

Former White House strategist Steve Bannon addresses members of the far right National Front party at the party congress in the northern French city of Lille, Saturday, March 10, 2018.

Le Pen a year ago made it to the run-off in the French presidential election which she then lost to Emmanuel Macron, whose policies she said were "putting down the middle and lower classes".

The congress would mark a significant break with Le Pen's father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who founded the National Front in 1972 and has called a name change a "betrayal".

An annual poll published this week by the Kantar-Sofres-One Point firm showed Le Pen scoring lower on numerous questions.

Le Pen is expected to make the proposal at a party congress in Lille on Sunday and members will vote on it by mail ballot. His daughter officially expelled him in 2015, for repeating the gas chamber remark.

Bannon told the audience that populist movements were a positive development and said, "the European Central Bank and the guys in Brussels better start listening or they're going to have a bigger revolt on their hands than they have today". Let them call you nativists.

"You recall the evening of the American election, the traditional medias were shocked". Every day, we become stronger and they become weaker. The move is created to skirt a court's ruling that the title allowed Jean-Marie Le Pen access to high-level party events - even if he was legally removed from membership rolls.

"I think this is not exactly the definition of 'de-demonization, '" he said.

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