French far-right leader Marine Le Pen has proposed her National Front party be renamed the “National Union” – le Rassemblement National – in a bid to try and improve its image and to help facilitate alliances with other parties.
“I propose that the National Front (FN) become the National Union (Rassemblement National),” Ms Le Pen told an annual conference of members in the northeastern city of Lille. “But it’s you who will vote on it, it’s you who will decide.”
The idea of changing the party’s name was only approved by a narrow majority of National Front members, with 52 per cent backing it during the conference, according to figures provided by the party. They will get to vote again on the new name by post.
Ms Le Pen, 49, is aiming to bury the FN name that has been associated with her father Jean-Marie since he co-founded the party 1972. Ms Le Pen has been the party’s leader since 2011.