By Mick Krever, CNN
Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s far-right National Front party, disputed on Friday reports that her father suggested Ebola as a possible cure for Europe’s immigration problem.
“Madame, this is a lie,” Le Pen told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. “That is a lie, a maneuver, a campaign maneuver. He never said that.”
Ahead of European Parliament elections, Jean-Marie Le Pen – founder of the National Front – reportedly said the deadly Ebola virus could help step global population and help Europe’s “immigration problem” in the process, according to French media.
“He was not speaking about immigration,” Marine Le Pen said. “He was speaking about the fate of humanity as a whole. That is what he said.”
The National Front, like many far-right parties across Europe, is grappling with allegations that in advocating more national autonomy from the EU they are also spewing racist propaganda.
“I do not have any image to clean up as far as the leadership is concerned. [My father] defends all French people, whatever their race, whatever their religion, whatever their origins.”
“So let me just be clear,” Amanpour said, “the French press reported that those were your father’s words ahead of a rally in Marseille this week on Tuesday. Are you denying that?”
“Yes, it is a lie,” Le Pen said.