French interior minister to face parliament over Macron's bodyguard

French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb waves as he leaves after a weekly cabinet meeting on July 18, 2018 at the Elysee palace in Paris. (AFP)
Updated 21 July 2018
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French interior minister to face parliament over Macron's bodyguard

  • Gerard Collomb will be questioned by members of the lower house on Monday and by the Senate on Tuesday.
  • Alexandre Benalla, long a fixture at Macron's side, was taken into custody for police questioning on Friday, after an amateur video was released showing him at the May 1 protests in Paris wearing a riot helmet and police tags while off duty.

PARIS: French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb will be questioned by lawmakers next week as the government faces mounting criticism of the way it disciplined President Emmanuel Macron's top bodyguard who was filmed beating a protester on May Day.
Collomb will be questioned by members of the lower house on Monday and by the Senate on Tuesday.
Alexandre Benalla, long a fixture at Macron's side, was taken into custody for police questioning on Friday, after an amateur video was released showing him at the May 1 protests in Paris wearing a riot helmet and police tags while off duty.
Benalla had initially been suspended for 15 days and allowed to return to work. Under pressure, the French presidency said on Friday it had decided to begin dismissal procedures.
Lawmakers have launched a parliamentary inquiry into the incident itself, the initial punishment and the failure of the authorities to report Benalla promptly to the judiciary. The Paris prosecutor has also opened a preliminary investigation.
In the footage, which was released on Wednesday by Le Monde newspaper, Benalla can be seen dragging a woman away from a protest and later beating a male demonstrator. On Friday, French media released a second video which showed Benalla also manhandling the woman.
Another man who appears with him in an amateur video was also taken in custody.
Three other police officers were also suspended on Friday, including two suspected of passing footage of the events to Benalla earlier this week, and were taken into custody.
Critics of Macron have called the president's delayed response a characteristic sign that he is out of touch.


TIMELINE: Theresa May’s three tumultuous Downing Street years

Updated 24 May 2019
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TIMELINE: Theresa May’s three tumultuous Downing Street years

  • May bowed out after nearly three years as prime minister on Friday
  • Marked the end of a rocky spell in 10 Downing Street

LONDON: Theresa May bowed out after nearly three years as prime minister on Friday, defeated by her inability to deliver Brexit.
Here are highlights of her tumultuous time in office:

July 13, 2016 - In her first speech as prime minister, May appears in Downing Street, pledging to fight the "burning injustices" that hold people back. She promises "a country that works for everyone" but will in fact find herself spending much of her time struggling with Brexit.

(AFP)


Jan 18, 2017 - A triumphant May is portrayed on the front page of the Daily Mail next to the headline "Steel of the New Iron Lady". She has just given a defiant speech, telling Brussels: "No deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain."

 


May 22, 2017 - May is forced to backtrack on an election pledge to force the elderly to pay more for care after her opinion poll lead fell by half. "Nothing has changed," she says to general incredulity.

June 4, 2017 - Responding to Britain's third militant attack in three months - the killing of seven people at London Bridge - May declared "enough is enough" and added: "Defeating this ideology is one of the great challenges of our time."

(AFP)


June 8, 2017 - Despite an apparently impregnable opinion poll lead, May loses her parliamentary majority in a general election called early. Despite repeated promises of a "strong and stable" government, her authority is in tatters.

Oct 3, 2017 - May's big speech to the Conservative Party conference was interrupted by repeated coughing fits, a prankster, and even letters of her slogan falling off the stage scenery. As a bid to reassert herslf, it had limited success.

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RELATED: British PM Theresa May resigns over Brexit failure

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Oct 3, 2018 - May startles the audience at the Conservative Party conference when she appears on stage for a speech jigging to Abba's "Dancing Queen." It was apparently a self-deprecating reference to her dancing during a recent visit to Africa, but she was nonetheless widely mocked.

(Screenshot/YouTube)

Dec 14, 2018 - A furious May is embroiled in a public row with Jean-Claude Juncker at a Brussels summit after the EU chief publicly called Britain's Brexit demands "nebulous" and "vague". Juncker joked that they had later kissed and made up, but the incident showed that relations were sub-optimal.

(Screenshot)

Dec 17, 2018 - At an EU summit in Salzburg, an unforgiving photo shows a red-jacketed May cold-shouldered by a phalanx of male leaders in dark suits.

Jan 19, 2019 - Lawmakers vote down May's Brexit divorce deal by the crushing margin of 432 to 202, the worst such defeat in modern British history. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn calls a vote of no confidence, which May however survives.

May 21, 2019 - In a last roll of the dice, May promises a "new deal" on Brexit. It is immediately rejected by large numbers of Conservative lawmakers and the opposition Labour Party.

(Screenshot)

May 24, 2019 - May announces she will quit, her voice breaking with emotion during a Downing Street address to the nation. She describes herself as "the second female prime minister, but certainly not the last."