UKIP MEPs back far-right leader Le Pen

UKIP MEPs have voted against a move by the European Parliament to remove the immunity of French far-right leader and MEP Marine Le Pen after French prosecutors opened a case against her for comments she made about Muslims.

UKIP MEPs have voted against a move by the European Parliament to remove the immunity of French far-right leader and MEP Marine Le Pen after French prosecutors opened a case against her for comments she made about Muslims.

Ms Le Pen, leader of the National Front (FN), is accused by French prosecutors of incitement to hatred and discrimination after she compared Muslims praying in the streets to the Nazi occupation of France.

At her party’s conference in 2010 she said:

“For those who like to talk about World War II, to talk about occupation, we could talk about, for once, the occupation of our territory. There are no armoured vehicles, no soldiers, but it is an occupation all the same and it weighs on people.” 

Under European Parliament rules, immunity covers MEPs for any opinions they express within the parliament. However the rules state that:

“immunity cannot be claimed when a member is found in the act of committing an offence and shall not prevent the European Parliament from exercising its right to waive the immunity of one of its members”.

The French chief prosecutor’s office in Lyon had requested that Ms Le Pen’s parliamentary immunity be removed so prosecutors could take action against her.

Yet despite Labour and Tory MEPs backing the move in a vote yesterday, UKIP MEPs voted against it.

Conservative MEP Sajjad Karim said it was “deeply revealing” that while “an overwhelming majority of MEPs voted for Le Pen to lose her immunity and face a criminal investigation into race hate charges, extremist MEPs and UKIP voted to protect Le Pen”.

Arlene McCarthy MEP (Labour Legal Affairs spokesperson) said she was “thankful that the vast majority of MEPs saw fit to allow the removal of Marine Le Pen’s immunity so that she can be prosecuted for her inflammatory and racist remarks”.

“Euro MPs are not above the law and UKIP should explain why the Party that claims to speak on behalf of people believes that Marine Le Pen should be treated differently just because she is an MEP,” she added.

The daughter of former NF leader Jea-Marie Le Pen, Ms Le Pen’s party won 17.9 per cent of the vote in the first round of the French presidential election last year.

A Ukip spokesman said the party’s MEPs voted to keep Le Pen’s immunity “because we believe that freedom of speech is sacrosant”.

“Immunity should not be lifted just because you don’t like the MEP’s politics,” a spokesperson said.

13 Responses to “UKIP MEPs back far-right leader Le Pen”

  1. sghdfgfre

    At least ukip stand up for their beliefs, funny how the EU never want to remove the immunity of MEP’s/MP’s who support the EU, promote mass immigration isn’t it

  2. janlog

    That would be one of the few votes cast by our UKIP MEPs then? Glad to see they’re keeping it classy.

  3. Alex Ross

    I thought that the FN would have quite liked the Nazi occupation of France, so I’m struggling to see her point??

  4. Neal Cassidy

    UKIP MEPs have to stand up for Le Pen, they are going to form a group with her in the European Parliament in 2014 🙂

  5. riverbank

    This is fast becoming a crazy world when words are stopped from being said by the bully boys. I am glad Ukip wont back the move and wont be bullied for standing up freedom of speech, thats what is so refreshing about them. Why do muslims have to take to the streets anyway to pray, very odd, its like they want their presence to be known.

  6. maverick

    we should come out the Europe market and have Britain for the British Brussels bring in c.p.c and we have to pay extra money to carry on driving P.S.V this licence should be for life like are car one this is unfair we need a change in this government lets get ukip there

  7. WildTom

    The ignorant, offensive and racist views Marine Le Pen expresses about Muslims praying show that she is truly the heir of her father and not a moderate, sensible moderniser as her spin doctors have tried to portray her. I’ve no time for her – but I’m deeply disturbed that the Tory and Labour parties backed a move to prosecute an elected parliamentarian purely for the expression of her views. What about the LibDems? Did they vote to remove her immunity from prosecution? The article doesn’t say. I’m extremely glad that UKIP at least is standing up for free speech. To be worth a damn, free speech has to be free speech for all, not just for people with whom we agree. You have to expect a certain amount of rough and tumble in democratic politics, but the attempt by Tory and Labour spokespeople to associate support for free speech with support for racism truly disgusts me.

  8. George

    I think Le Pen’s bloody awful, and so’s UKIP, but her remarks shouldn’t be criminal should they? Even if you think that she should stand trial, UKIP voting against her privilege being removed doesn’t mean that they support her. Let’s ridicule her stupidity rather than martyring her. Attack UKIP for being an awful party with only the interests of the rich at heart, rather than this – as it is they can claim – peversely to be some kind of band of champions of British Liberty, and so on.

  9. Jeremy Sallee

    So glad we have our God given conscience and speech rights protected by our written US Constitution, even from things that some don’t consider “politically correct”. Glad that our founding fathers had the wisdom to recognize this unlike much of Europe; the old Country! Happy Independence day to my fellow Americans, make me appreciate our nation even more! JS

  10. James hunt

    i would like to disagree about ukip being for the rich person , i think they are old conservative with their let Britain be strong and great views just like MT and old labour , with trying to build a strong workforce in the uk, and the way i view her comment is that she is not comparing the nazi’s and muslims as evil she is trying to say that people dont want to see muslims praying on the street of a Catholicism country , she is trying to make a point that Muslims are a strain on society like the nazi’s were, now this is not my view entirely but this is how i interpret her comment, the reason i think ukip stuck up for her is just on the basis of free speech and free opinion

  11. Dave Lawrence

    The simple biggest act of terrorism perpetrated in modern times was by agents of Al-Qaeda.
    Al Qaeda claim to be Islamist fundamentalists and have sworn death to all non-believers and the overthrow of western democracy in western countries – but yeah, let’s all jump up and down because someone has the cojones to say what they think about a silent occupation, eh? The concept of “no platform” is a political oxymoron that beggars belief – “you” can say what you like as long as “we” agree with it.

  12. roggy1

    Mr Frarage didn’t seem too taken with free speech and free opinion on the streets of Edinburgh. Perhaps he likes it only when he agrees with it.

  13. kennyF

    ukrap show their TRUE colours at last! yet another bunch of rightist swaggering knuckledraggers. it take more than a pile of brylcreem and a 1950’s spivs suit to disguise a closet fascist.

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