French Senate report into disgraced Macron aide opens rift with government

A damming report published this week by a French Senate commission of inquiry set up to investigate the scandal surrounding President Emmanuel Macron’s disgraced former security aide Alexander Benalla was dismissed on Thursday by French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe as being politically motivated. The senators found that the events behind the scandal, which began when Benalla was filmed assaulting people on the sidelines of a May Day march last year, and which have been followed by Mediapart’s revelations that the maverick aide has been negotiating personal security deals worth 2.2 million euros with Russian oligarch’s close to the Kremlin, are the result of “major failings” at the heart of the Élysée Palace, which placed at risk “the security of the head of state and, beyond this, the interests of our country”.

Reading articles is for subscribers only. Subscribe now.

The French presidency and prime minister Édouard Philippe have reacted angrily to a French Senate commission report published this week presenting its conclusions after a six-month inquiry into the events and responsibilities in the scandal surrounding President Emmanuel Macron’s disgraced former security aide Alexander Benalla.