Le Monde reports that in an interview with the Journal du Dimanche Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the Parti de Gauche candidate in last year’s French presidential election, has attacked interior minister Manuel Valls.
Endorsing a description of Valls as representing the “extreme right” of the socialist movement, Mélenchon accused him of falling under the influence of Marine Le Pen and trying to compete with the Front National in appealing to anti-Muslim bigotry. Mélenchon stated:
“Madame Le Pen is on the verge of winning her bet. Not only has she seduced most of the right but she has also contaminated Manuel Valls. And it is he who sets the tone for the government. See how he has polluted part of the summer over the question of the veil. Muslims in our country are the object of unbearable stigmatisation.”
Mélenchon added: “He decided cynically to use this unhealthy situation to establish his personality as a hard and violent man who is hunting on the territory of Madame Le Pen.”