The New Statesman has opined that
No, the fall of François Fillon doesn’t mean Marine Le Pen will win
This follows, of course, revelations that Fillon, the former darling of the centre-right in France, has had his nose in the trough a bit too deeply, even by French standards, by paying his wife “wages” of hundreds of thousands of Euros of taxpayers’ money for doing, it seems, no work at all. Perhaps the French, who are usually quite relaxed about these things, have been roused from their usual boredom by the fact that the wife is Welsh. It might have been OK if she were a Parisienne? Fillon looks to be finished as a runner.
Anyway, since the New Statesman is typically wrong about everything, this might well mean that the road is indeed now rather more open for Marinne Le Pen to win the forthcoming French presidential election.
I watched the whole of Ken Clarke’s speech in the House of Commons on the Brexit vote. He did not look or sound at all well, and cut a rather sad figure as the only Conservative PM to vote to defy the will of the British people on Brexit. But, croaking and at times meandering as he was, it was a touching speech – a sort of valediction from a well-meaning old boy who has had his day. It was warming to see the House show its affection for him when he sat down.
If Le Pen does win, and takes France out of the EU, I hope Ken Clarke will have settled into a comfortable and well-deserved chair in the club of his choice. Unlike M & Mme Fillon, he deserves his retirement.