Steerpike, The Spectator, November 18, 2021
As the race for the Elysée hots up, presidential candidates are busy courting voters and raising funds. And with Macron’s poll ratings flatlining in Paris, all eyes are on Eric Zemmour, the right-wing talkshow host who is still yet to declare but is nevertheless third in the polls. So Mr S was intrigued to learn that Zemmour plans to come to London this weekend in light of the capital’s considerable French contingent, with the metropolis often cited as the sixth biggest French city.
Unfortunately Zemmour’s plans have run aground, with successive venues cancelling on the anti-establishment candidate in light of his controversial past statements — some of which have put him beyond the pale of much of polite Parisian society. Given Zemmour’s rockstar status — and proven ability to pack out venues — Steerpike was curious as to why cash-strapped concert halls did not want to host the television sensation. And now the reason why can be revealed: Zemmour’s campaign believe that figures on the left in France and in London have been getting in touch with those hosting Zemmour to dissuade them from welcoming the controversial outsider.
Asked by Green Assembly Member Zack Polanski if Zemmour was welcome in London, Mayor Sadiq Khan said: ‘Nobody who wants to divide our communities or incites hatred against people because of the colour of their skin or the god they worship is welcome in our city.’
A spokesman for Zemmour told Mr S: ‘If this information is true, it would be very surprising in a city where calls to jihad are authorised in the streets. It seems to us that it is not for the mayor of London to say who can say what and where and at what time. This is a bizarre situation in the country of freedom of expression.’
Let’s hope Zemmour doesn’t actually win the race eh, Sadiq?