Jean-Marie Le Pen backs Marine on kippah ban

The founder of France's main far right party has backed its current leader after she called for a public ban of kippot along with Muslim headscarves and other religious symbols.

Jean-Marie Le Pen, who founded the National Front (FN) 40 years ago this week and remains its honorary president, told the AFP agency that his daughter had not intended to put Jewish and Muslim customs "on the same ground".

He said: "She [just] demanded that Jews wearing a kippa h make a patriotic gesture not to wear it, in order to more easily enable a prohibition against the veil."

Marine Le Pen, his daughter, who has led the party since 2011, said last month that she wanted a ban on headscarves in public places. "It is obvious that if the veil is banned, the kippah is banned in public as well," she told Le Monde.

Last updated: 9:26am, October 5 2012