A selfie is the reason why far-right anti-immigration Front National (FN) did so badly in France's regional elections last month, the party's founder has claimed, and now he's suing the taker for £37,000.

Brahim Zaibat, a professional dancer based in Paris, snapped a picture with the unsuspecting Jean-Marie Le Pen when he realised they were seated near each other on a plane:

He posted it to Facebook with the caption:

Let's knock out [the National Front] tomorrow by going to vote. Preserve our fraternal France!!! #Iloveit

It amassed thousands of likes and shares, and according to BBC Trending, sparked a debate about racism and immigration in France, and Le Pen's role in public life.

The photo was taken on December 12, the day before the second round of regional elections, in which the National Front were hoping to do well.

Instead, the party, which is now run by Jean-Marie's daughter Marine Le Pen, failed to win a single seat in the local elections, despite a strong performance in the first round.

Rather than blaming the colossal defeat on the wishes of the electorate or coalition blocks of rival parties, Le Pen decided that the failure was down to Zaibat's photo, which "harmed his image and was instrumental in the defeat of the party", and he is now suing the dancer for breach of privacy.

(Picture: Getty)

Editor's note - 3pm, 12 Jan: This article has been amended to make clear that Jean-Marie Le Pen is suing Brahim Zeibat personally. It previously suggested action was being taken by the FN party, which Mr Le Pen founded but from which he was expelled in 2015.

Keep reading...Show less
Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)