The man due to temporarily replace French presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen as head of the far-right National Front party refuses the job over allegations he made questionable comments about the Holocaust. Scarlett Cvitanovich reports.
Its record on the fate of Jews in World War Two back to haunt France's National Front. Earlier this week presidential candidate Marine Le Pen stood down - temporarily - as the leader of the far-right party and now the man earmarked to fill her shoes is suddenly doing the same. Jean-Francois Jalkh accused of making questionable remarks about Nazi gas chambers. (SOUNDBITE) (French) NATIONAL FRONT MEMBER AND MARINE LE PEN'S PARTNER, LOUIS ALIOT, SAYING: "He (Jalkh) feels that the climate is not conducive for him to carry out this interim role. He wants to defend himself and he will be filing a legal complaint because he feels that his honour has been attacked and I can tell you that he firmly and formally contests what he is accused of" Steve Briois, the mayor of Le Pen's flagship town Henin-Beaumont, will take his place. Jalkh's abrupt exit awakening the ghosts from the Front's past, reviving the outcry sparked by Le Pen's father when he called the Nazi gas chambers a 'detail' of history. Leading his daughter to expel him from the party, an effort to cleanse the National Front's image of xenophobic and anti-semitic associations. As Le Pen grappled with the potentially damaging turn of events, presidential favourite Emmanuel Macron headed to a village that has been preserved as it was when SS soldiers killed nearly all of its inhabitants in 1944. Oradour-sur-Glane, a "frozen-in-time" memorial to over six-hundred men, women and children. At the end of the first week of campaigning polls continue to have centrist Macron in a convincing lead. Beating Le Pen in the final ballot with 60 percent of the vote. Accusations of Holocaust denial unlikely to help her turn that around.