‘Penelope-gate’ casts dark shadow over Fillon’s presidential prospects

Investigation into possible misuse of public funds bodes ill for French candidate who cast himself as a sleaze-free, austere figure

It is the first major political scandal to hit the French presidential race and it could prove fatal.

The rightwing presidential candidate, François Fillon, who built his campaign on the carefully crafted image of a sleaze-free honourable country gentleman, is facing a preliminary investigation by state financial prosecutors into possible misuse of public funds. It came about after a newspaper alleged his wife was paid €500,000 (£430,000) out of parliamentary funds over eight years for an assistant’s job it claimed she never carried out.

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Investigation into possible misuse of public funds bodes ill for French candidate who cast himself as a sleaze-free, austere figure

It is the first major political scandal to hit the French presidential race and it could prove fatal.

The rightwing presidential candidate, François Fillon, who built his campaign on the carefully crafted image of a sleaze-free honourable country gentleman, is facing a preliminary investigation by state financial prosecutors into possible misuse of public funds. It came about after a newspaper alleged his wife was paid €500,000 (£430,000) out of parliamentary funds over eight years for an assistant’s job it claimed she never carried out.

Continue reading…

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