(JTA) – Far-right French politician Jean-Marie Le Pen disowned his daughter, the head of the National Front party he founded, after he was suspended by party officials.
“I’m ashamed that the president of the National Front has my name,” he told Europe 1 radio on Tuesday, speaking of his daughter Marine.
The elder Le Pen also said it would be “scandalous” if she were elected president of France in 2017.
Hours after his suspension on Monday, Le Pen said publicly that he wished his daughter would get married in order to change her last name.
Opinion polls have shown that Marine Le Pen could make it to the second round of the presidential election but not be elected president.
The top executive authority of the National Front handed down the suspension on Monday after holding a disciplinary hearing over statements Jean-Marie Le Pen made last month in which he told French TV that he does not regret saying in 1987 that the Nazi gas chambers were “just a detail of World War II.”
In addition to the suspension, party members will hold a special meeting in three months to decide whether to strip the title of honorary president from Le Pen, the French news agency AFP reported.
In recent years, Marine Le Pen, 46, has rejected her father’s revisionist and anti-Semitic views and courted French Jews in a move that many observers said was designed to rehabilitate the anti-immigrant party’s name and gain mainstream acceptance. Since she took the helm in 2011, the once-isolated party has achieved victories in some town and county legislatures. Marine Le Pen has flirted with the idea of a presidential run in 2017.
Jean-Marie Le Pen was convicted of racial hatred for his observation about the gas chambers and fined.