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French far-right names 23-year-old as top candidate in EU elections

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Jordan Bardella joined the Rassemblement national when it was called the Front national. AFP/Joël Saget

The French hard-right National Rally party has announced Jordan Bardella as the leader of its campaign for May's European elections. The 23-year-old was the unanimous choice of the nine-member executive bureau.


Louis Aliot, one of the party's MPs, told BFMTV and RMC: "In this period of strife we need to give signs of hope to our young people."

Bardella, from the town of Drancy, just outside Paris, joined the party seven years ago at the age of 16, when it was called the National Front, led by Jean-Marie Le Pen.

He rose quickly through its ranks to become one of its most prominent voices and figure among the inner circle of Marine Le Pen, who deposed her father as leader.

As a party spokesman, he has hit out at the crime and delinquency rates in the region where he was raised.

Since March, he has been head of the RN's youth wing and become increasingly involved in the party's national strategy.

Analysts are predicting a surge in support for populist parties in European elections, which begin on 23 May.