Zemmour predicted to meet Tory MPs as French presidential hopeful lays out migration plans

Zemour is willing to say anything to be elected says expert

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Associate Professor of French Studies at Warwick University and expert on far-right politics, Dr David Lees, spoke to Express.co.uk about the political campaign of Eric Zemmour and what it could mean for Franco-UK relations. The French politics academic believed Mr Zemmour may meet with Tory MPs ahead of the April election to discuss immigration plans to position himself in a more advantageous position. Dr Lees added he believed Mr Zemmour was a “two-trick pony” and did not doubt the far-right candidate would say anything to get elected.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Dr Lees was asked what Mr Zemmour’s moves could be in the lead up to the election in April.

Dr Lees said: “Zemmour has a lot in common with Boris Johnson, in that he’s willing to say anything to be elected.

“I think it’s very likely that Zemmour would promise anything to the French electorate if it meant that he could potentially be voted in.

“Now, what I think Zemmour would do, I think he may well do this before the first round of the presidential election, is actually sit down with people who are politicians in the UK…

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“Particularly in the Conservative Party, and try to think about whether there’s a way of coming to some sort of agreement on immigration.

“It’s in both countries’ interests, very clearly, to work together on this issue.”

Mr Zemmour visited the UK in November where he had hoped to find donors for his campaign and also allies from across the Channel.

The candidate held several meet-and-greets but did not meet with any British politician on the record.

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Dr Lees added he believed Mr Zemmour may “take a leaf” from proposals from the UK Government to process asylum seekers in other countries.

The academic also thought Mr Zemmour would also renegotiate any treaty that put France at a disadvantage because he wants to limit the level of migration into France.

Mr Zemmour’s main rival, National Rally leader Marine Le Pen, may also see an unlikely boon thanks to the outsider.

Dr Lees believes Ms Le Pen’s past of “thuggery” may be overlooked and considered more moderate when compared to Mr Zemmour’s campaigning.

France’s Europe Minister, Clement Beaune, referred to Mr Zemmour as “one of the faces of what has a long tradition in our country — the hateful antisemitic French far-right.”

Mr Zemmour also referred to the media as a “propaganda machine that hates France” and “spits on the French people”.

Mr Zemmour’s stance on immigration is also far bolder than his right-wing rivals and has written and commented on “the great displacement” which suggests native French people will lose their identity and culture to immigration.

Mr Zemmour was level pegging with Ms Le Pen when he first announced his candidacy with both right-wing hopefuls polling at 16 percent back in October, according to Politico.

However, Mr Zemmour’s support has died down slightly as Dr Lees explained French voters were doubting whether the outsider could perform if he was actually elected as his most support teeters around 13 percent.

Dr Lees branded Mr Zemmour as a “two-trick pony” who provided little else than criticisms on religion and migration in France.

Republican candidate Valérie Pécresse was announced back towards the end of November and has taken Mr Zemmour’s third-place position.

Mr Zemmour visited the UK in November where he had hoped to find donors for his campaign and also allies from across the Channel.

The candidate held several meet-and-greets but did not meet with any British politician on the record.

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