Le Pen faces lawsuit over 'oven' jibe

The European Jewish Congress is to sue Jean-Marie Le Pen after the former leader of France's National Front made a Holocaust-related comment.

Speaking about Jewish singer and actor Patrick Bruel in a NF video, Mr Le Pen played on the French word for oven - believed to be a deliberate reference to concentration camps.

"On fera une fournee la prochaine fois" ("Next time we'll make a batch"), Mr Le Pen said. The phrase is a play on the word "fournée" or "le four", which translates as oven.

The EJC said the politician's parliamentary immunity should be removed to allow him to be prosecuted. Mr Le Pen has a series of convictions for antisemitism and racism. Moshe Kantor, EJC president, said: "These comments are incitement against and defamation of the Jewish people." French media law includes a category on defamation against ethnic groups.

Mr Le Pen's comments triggered a public rift with his daughter, NF leader Marine Le Pen, who has worked to change the widespread perception that the party is antisemitic.

In a survey for Le Parisien on Sunday, 87 per cent of respondents said that Mr Le Pen should retire from politics.

    Last updated: 10:21am, June 20 2014