French National Front leader Marine Le Pen has clashed with Nigel Farage after the Ukip leader suggested her party was antisemitic.
Mr Farage rejected suggestions that his Euro MPs could join a bloc with the far-right French group following next month’s elections for the European Parliament. He said he could not allow Ukip politicians to side with National Front counterparts because of “prejudice and antisemitism”.
But Ms Le Pen hit back, telling the Sunday Times that Mr Farage had slandered her party.
She said: “He is often reproached for the behaviour and comments of… his members. Slandering your neighbour to try and make yourself look whiter than white, it’s not correct. He’s doing it simply for electoral purposes.”
Mr Farage was also quoted as saying Ms Le Pen had “some good qualities”, and she acknowledged the two parties’ similar stances on economic matters.
Since becoming party leader Ms Le Pen has attempted to appear friendly towards the Jewish community, to brush off accusations of antisemitism that surfaced under the previous leadership of her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen.
Mr Farage said Ukip would sit with members of the EU Democrats group in the next European parliament.