Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, the niece of Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s Front National, is opening a training academy to train future far right representatives.
Aged 28, Marion Maréchal-Le Pen was one of the party’s two MPs in France’s previous parliament, though she withdrew from electoral politics after her aunt’s defeat last year.
The “academy of political sciences” will open in central Lyon in September, and aims to “detect and train the leaders of tomorrow who will have the courage, intelligence, discernment and competence to act effectively … in the service of society”. It is open to “all the political currents of the right”, Marion Maréchal-Le Pen wrote in the right-wing weekly Valeurs Actuelles earlier this year.
This project is likely to boost the profile of Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, who in the most recent opinion poll had a public approval rating of 19%, a high score for someone who is no longer in office.
Is this academy going to encourage a new wave of far right candidates? What impact will it have on the brand identity of the Front National? And is it the first of a series of right-wing training academies?