James Rothwell, Telegraph, May 9, 2017
Maréchal-Le Pen, the niece of Marine Le Pen who was widely tipped to succeed her as leader of the Front National, is reportedly stepping down from politics.
Ms Maréchal-Le Pen, 27, was quoted by Le Parisien as saying she had made a “personal choice” to quit the political scene.
The French newspaper said she had already informed Marine Le Pen, who was decisively defeated by centrist Emmanuel Macron in Sunday’s election, along with other colleagues.
“I respect her choice. I know how demanding political life can be,” the current Front National leader said after learning of her niece’s decision.
Rumours had been swirling in the wake of Ms Le Pen’s crushing defeat that her niece may try and lead the party into victory in France’s next election.
Ms Maréchal-Le Pen, however, has insisted she never intended to stay in politics throughout her career, according to Le Parisien.
It comes after Marine Le Pen vowed to become the main opposition party in France following the victory of Mr Macron, who took more than 65 per cent of the vote.
In Sunday’s election, the party nearly doubled the share of votes it managed to win in 2002, when then-leader Jean-Marie Le Pen ran against Jacques Chirac.
Jean-Marie said in a pre-election interview that he felt Marine was unfit for the presidency and lamented that Marion had not been picked as a candidate, furthering speculation the younger Le Pen was tipped for the leadership.