Key ally of Emmanuel Macron resigns over allegations of irregularities in party finding

Paris: France's justice minister Francois Bayrou, a key ally of President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday that he was quitting the government, as his party battles a funding scandal.

The small centrist MoDem party, founded by Bayrou, is in an alliance with Macron's 14-month-old Republic on the Move (REM) movement, and Bayrou was one of two Modem ministers in the cabinet.

File image of French president Emmanuel Macron. AP

File image of French president Emmanuel Macron. AP

Macron has been carrying out a partial reshuffle of his month-old government following parliamentary elections that handed him and his MoDem allies a commanding majority.

"I have taken a decision not to be part of the next government," Bayrou said, adding that he would hold a press conference at 5:00 pm (1500 GMT).

MoDem is facing allegations it used European parliamentary funds to pay assistants actually based in France.

The other MoDem minister, former defence minister Sylvie Goulard, also announced her resignation yesterday.

Bayrou was a key backer of Macron's movement during the presidential campaign, and his support was crucial in winning centrist votes for the new president.

He has dismissed the allegations of fake jobs in his party.

Updated Date: Jun 21, 2017 13:02 PM

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