Emmanuel Macron has named a politician of Jewish heritage as France’s youngest ever prime minister.
Gabriel Attal, 34, replaces Élisabeth Borne, who resigned after 20 months in office, and is also of Jewish origin.
In just over a decade, he has climbed from a junior position in the health ministry to become France’s head of government.
Attal, who is also openly gay, currently serves as education minister.
Born to a Tunisian Jewish father and Orthodox Christian mother, he studied at a prestigous law school in Paris and Le Science Po university.
In 2019, he told Libération: “My father said to me, ‘Perhaps you’re Orthodox [Christian] but you’ll feel Jewish all your life, mainly because you’ll suffer antisemitism because of your name’.”
Attal was one of the first people to back Macron when he decided to run for president.
After he took office, Attal was elected as an MP and, at 29, he became the youngest minister under the Fifth Republic, in charge of youth issues.
His appointment last year to his current role sparked a wave of antisemitism.
Conservative former minister and MP Philippe de Villiers posted on X/Twitter: “The nomination of Gabriel Attal to replace Pap Ndiaye is the catastrophe of the summer. We’re moving from woke to LGBT.
"Attal is an activist and a key member of the Bilderberg group, he is in favour of re-education. Macron did his work for the summer: changing society.”
Attal told Gala magazine: “Indeed, I have often faced antisemitism without complaining…
"So many people suffer from discrimination without getting the same support and protection as I have.”
He has added that he gets “bucketloads of vomit” from opponents online.
Attal sparked controversy from other quarters last year when he banned the abaya, an Islamic dress, from being worn in schools.
“The schools of the Republic were built around strong values, secularism is one of them... When you enter a classroom, you shouldn’t be able to identify the religion of pupils,” Attal said at the time.
Attal is in a civil partnership with MEP Stéphane Sejourné, who has also been supported by Macron.
The father of France’s outgoing prime minister Borne, Joseph Bornstein, was born to Polish parents who had fled to France in 1939 to escape the Nazis. He served in the Resistance and was naturalised as a French citizen in 1950.
Attal is the fourth French prime minister of Jewish origin, after Borne, Léon Blum, who served several times in the 1930s and the 1940s, and Pierre Mendès France, who took office in the 1950s.