France's far-right RN party picks Jordan Bardella to replace Le Pen


Election of the 27-year-old as president of Rassemblement National will leave Marine Le Pen to focus instead on leading the party's group in parliament.

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France's far-right National Rally (RN) has confirmed 27-year-old Jordan Bardella as the replacement as party leader for Marine Le Pen, reports the BBC.

Ms Le Pen will focus instead on leading the party's group in parliament, after it took 89 seats in the National Assembly earlier this year.

It marks the first time in its 50-year history that the main far-right party has not been led by a Le Pen.

But the move does not mark a major change in direction for the party.

Marine Le Pen remains the source of real power and she is still the likely candidate in the next presidential election in 2027.

She told the party on Saturday that she was not disappearing from politics.

"I am not leaving RN to take a holiday. I will be there where the country needs me," she said at the party convention.

Brought up in a poor family of Italian origin in the Paris suburbs, Mr Bardella joined the far-right as a teenager and rose quickly to the top of the party, becoming its acting president last year.

Read more of this report from the BBC.

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