The wealthy donors funding French far-right presidential candidate Éric Zemmour

Last November, far-right polemicist Éric Zemmour, a newspaper columnist and TV pundit with several conviction for hate speech, announced he was standing in France’s presidential elections. Without an established party apparatus behind him, Zemmour’s campaign team have been networking the wealthy in search of financial donors. Mediapart has gained access to documents that reveal the identities of 35 of the largest donors, mostly found through fundraising dinners where guests include industrialists, bankers, high-flying lawyers and management consultants. Sébastien Bourdon, Ariane Lavrilleux and Marine Turchi report.

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It was on November 30th last year when far-right polemicist Éric Zemmour announced his bid to run in the French presidential elections in April, following a summer of barely disguised campaign meetings presented as “conferences” about a book he had recently published.