French minister Le Roux resigns amid family payment allegations

22 Mar 17

France’s interior minister Bruno Le Roux has stood down amid an inquiry into publicly funded jobs he gave to his two teenage daughters during the school holidays.


Bruno Le Roux, former French interior minister. Credit: Mathieu Delmestre

Bruno Le Roux stepped down from his post as French interior minister today. Credit: Mathieu Delmestre


Le Roux handed his resignation to French president Francois Hollande yesterday as the country’s national financial prosecutors announced they would open a preliminary investigation.

A statement on the Elysee Palace’s website said Le Roux stood down in order to cooperate fully in establishing the truth in regards to the allegations.

It is legal for public officials to hire family members in France, so long as the work is genuine.

However the issue has become a sensitive one in recent weeks, with a similar probe opened into Republican presidential candidate and former prime minister François Fillon.

Fillon had been a frontrunner in the presidential race until the scandal, relating to the allegedly fictitious employment of his wife, Penelope Fillon, and two children, dented his support.

French newspaper Le Canard enchaíne first reported the accusations in January, which reportedly saw Fillon pay his family members close to €1m over the course of 15 years. Fillon maintains that their salaries were justified.

Further allegations against Fillon have also been published by the same newspaper today. It reports that the a Lebanese billionaire paid a company owned by the Republican $50,000 in 2015 to arrange interviews with Russian president Vladimir Putin and French multinational oil and gas company Total.

Le Roux is accused of paying a total of €55,000 to his two daughters between 2009 and 2016, when they were employed during the summer holidays as parliamentary assistants.

Reports from French television programme, Quotidien TV, alleged that the jobs, first taken up by the Le Roux sisters when they were 15 and 16, clashed with other internships and courses the girls participated in.

Le Roux emphasises that the jobs were genuine and all the work his daughters were paid to do was completed. However he said he felt it was his responsibility to resign.

Lawful or not, the fact the two girls have amassed hefty tax-payer funded savings at such young ages has been met with widespread condemnation in France and added further heat to what was already a turbulent presidential race.  

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