Marion Maréchal is to "build her own party" after the implosion of Reconquête in the run-up to France's snap elections. (EPA-EFE/JIM LO SCALZO)

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Exclusive: Maréchal ‘to build own party’ after Reconquête implodes in French election chaos


Marion Maréchal is to “build her own party” after the implosion of Reconquête in the run-up to France’s snap elections.

Speaking to Brussels Signal, a source close to the leader laid the blame for the party split on Reconquête leader Eric Zemmour, as well as his partner Sarah Knafo, a newly elected MEP.

The couple are accused of running a “humiliating” campaign against Maréchal over the course of the European Parliament elections. Maréchal was reportedly left short of funds and denied access to information technology needed by her team.

This campaign “backfired”, according to Maréchal’s camp. She “still won in the EU elections, despite their manoeuvres”.

Following the bust-up with Zemmour, Maréchal “has the support of most party members and voters, the backing of three newly elected MEPs”. She had secured an electoral alliance with RN and “will get MPs, she will build her own party and defend her own conservative ideas,” the source added.

“Zemmour and Knafo dug their own grave.”

The claim that Maréchal is looking to build her own party comes after she, along with three other MEPs, were thrown out of Reconquête by Eric Zemmour.

All four MEPs had backed a statement accusing Zemmour of rejecting their pleas not to run candidates against the planned “right-wing coalition” seeking to overthrow the government of French President Emmanuel Macron.

“Éric Zemmour decided, despite our opposition, to present as many candidates as possible against this coalition of the Right throughout France, thus taking the risk of losing this unprecedented hope of beating Emmanuel Macron and the far left,” the four Euro MPs said.

They went on to urge voters to support coalition candidates in the upcoming vote rather than those run by Reconquête.

Zemmour responded by branding the move a “betrayal”. He rejected claims he was unwilling to support an electoral coalition with Le Pen.

“I am sickened and hurt, like all activists, sympathisers and voters, by the betrayal of Marion Maréchal to whom we all trusted, to whom we gave everything,” he wrote.

“Barely 48 hours after being elected by 1.3 million Reconquest voters, she chose to sell our party, to consider that it was no longer legitimate to carry her ideas, to attack us with slander.”

At the centre of the scandal is an alleged deal the party had brokered with National Rally (RN).

According to multiple sources, Maréchal had initially brokered a deal with RN leaders Jordan Bardella and Marine Le Pen that would see Reconquête enter an electoral pact. Reconquête were to be allowed to run uncontested in 60 French constituencies, ten of which were viewed as being locations where a right-wing candidate was likely to be elected to the French parliament.

This deal is later said to have fallen through, with Bardella alleged to have texted Maréchal that the agreement was off as RN “could not trust” Eric Zemmour.

French outlets meanwhile cite insiders as saying that the true reason behind Bardella allegedly pulling the deal was that RN had subsequently been approached by the French Republicans, with RN judging that a pact with the centre-right party would be more valuable than one with Reconquête.

The rejection is said to have been what sparked the Reconquête split, with heated words being exchanged between the pro-Maréchal and pro-Zemmour camps.

Maréchal is said to have left the meeting after five minutes, shortly followed by fellow MEPs Guillaume Peltier and Nicolas Bay.

Insiders close to Zemmour have since claimed that Maréchal had never once shared the details of the initial deal she struck with RN.

“So we don’t know the real reason for this turnaround,” they said.