Keyword: Laurent Wauquiez
Laurent Wauquiez, recently elected as head of the conservative Les Républicains party on a hard right policy platform, was secretly recorded during a meeting with business school students denigrating it's former president Nicolas Sarkozy, who he claimed put phone taps on his ministers, and accusing President Emmanuel Macron as being behind a dirty tricks campaign against his conservative election rival François Fillon.
Wauquiez took 74.6% of Les Républicain vote on an anti-immigration, anti-welfare platform that critics say plays into Front National's hands.
Laurent Wauquiez, 42, is a relentless critic of President Macron, dismissing him as out of touch with rural France and weak on security.
A breakaway group of MPs from the French conservative party Les Républicains have announced they are launching a new party, positioning themselves as centre-right, pro-European and humanist, in opposition to the forecasted iminent election of hard-right Laurent Wauquiez as the new Républicains leader.