French conservative politician Gilles Platret has been condemned by some in his own party after claiming that some neighbourhoods see native French being ethnically cleansed by non-white migrants.
A vice-president of the centre-right Les Républicains (LR) and Mayor of Chalon-sur-Saône, Platret spoke out earlier this week on French television saying, “What we see today in some neighbourhoods — and I will use a word that will necessarily make reactions around this table — I feel a kind of ethnic cleansing.”
According to a report from broadcaster LCI, he added that “people of foreign origin… gradually drive out what is called in demography natives, that is to say, people from the country, to make room,” adding that people from a “Muslim bloc” were pushing native French out.
Damien Abad, a member of the Republicans in the French parliament, condemned the words of his party colleague, saying he was in total disagreement and the words were “not acceptable.”
“I tell my political family that it is not by making winks or foot calls to Eric Zemmour or Mrs Le Pen that we will attract voters to us,” he said.
Populist National Rally (RN) Marine Le Pen has proposed a referendum on immigration if she becomes president next year, while conservative writer Eric Zemmour has also taken a hard-line stance on mass migration and has spoken out about changing demographics in France.
Both Le Pen and Zemmour are currently the top candidates challenging President Emmanuel Macron in presidential polling.
Despite the condemnation from his fellow party member, Gilles Platret defended his statement, saying the LR were a party of many factions and not one of total unanimity. “I do not aspire to unanimity!” he said Thursday.
Aurélien Taché, an MP for Val-d’Oise, stated that he believes the comments from the MP were “incitement to hatred” and allegedly reported the comments to the Paris public prosecutor.
So far no official investigation has been launched.