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Femen activists confront far-right leader

Front National president Marine Le Pen is taken away as a Femen militant is arrested by security staff AFP/Thomas Bregardis

The leader of France's far-right party, Marine Le Pen, came within inches of two topless Femen activists on Saturday, whilst on a visit to the town of Fougères in Brittany.

Le Pen, who was in Fougères to meet with local members of the Front National party, was greeting town residents when the two protesters surged forwards from the crowd, removed their tops and shouted "Marine repent!" The same slogan that was also scrawled across their chests. Le Pen's security team swiftly intervened, pulling the women away from the political leader, as they continued their chants including "sexremism not faciscm."

Femen then took to Twitter to continue their tirade against Le Pen, with one tweet from their French account reading “Stop the xenophobia, the homophobia and the hatred.”

The protest by the trademark topless group comes at a time when the Front National is seeing a surge in support - with 24 percent of French citizens saying they will vote for Le Pen's party in next year's European elections according to a recent poll.

That puts the far right party ahead of France's traditional two mainstream parties, with 22 percent of the electorate backing the conservative UMP and 19 percent behind Hollande's Socialist party.

Far right groups in France have been confronted by the feminist protest group in the past, most recently during a May rally to commemorate Joan of Arc in Paris.