Le Pen’s Party Member Expelled for Failing to Defend Him

The extreme rightwing National Front’s only member of parliament was expelled from the party Monday, for refusing to defend a gross reference to the Holocaust by its leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen.

Mrs. Yann Piat, who was elected to the National Assembly last June, was accused of “failing to follow party discipline.” She will, however, retain her seat as an independent.

Le Pen, who personally ordered her ouster, shocked his countrymen, including many of his supporters, by making an ugly play on the words “oven” and “crematorium” in the course of a verbal attack on a member of the Cabinet in August.

Piat, who had been a Le Pen protegee, incurred his wrath by publicly expressing regret for “his ill-chosen words.”

Their strained relations came to a head last week, when Piat refused to follow party orders to vote against a government-proposed law that would grant certain social benefits to immigrant workers.

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