French minister Bruno Le Roux quits in summer jobs row
21 March 2017
- From the section Europe
France’s Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux has resigned over a “fake jobs” row involving work he gave his daughters when they were teenagers.
Mr Le Roux told a news conference that he felt it was his “responsibility”, but denied wrongdoing.
It is alleged that his daughters were being paid for work while involved in other activities.
The Socialist minister has repeatedly insisted that the summer jobs were legitimate.
French President Francois Hollande said he had accepted Mr Le Roux’s resignation and named Trade Minister Matthias Fekl as his successor.
Mr Le Roux, 51, said he did not want the investigation into the contracts linked to his daughters to “undermine the work of the government”.
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His daughters began working for him when they were 15 or 16, and between them amassed 24 fixed-term contracts that paid out €55,000 ($60,000; £48,000).
The allegations against Mr Le Roux surfaced in the Quotidien TV programme on Monday, when a reporter approached the minister asking about holiday jobs he had paid his daughters for between 2009 and 2016.
Employing family members is common practice in France’s National Assembly and is lawful. However, the programme reported that two of the contracts coincided with an internship and a pre-study course.
One daughter held a three-month internship during the summer of 2013 at Belgian company Yves Le Rocher, Quotidien reported.
Mr Le Roux’s office said all the jobs the girls were paid for were completed.
“Of course I had my daughters working with me particularly during the summers or other school holidays, but never permanently,” he told Quotidien.
Centre-right presidential candidate Francois Fillon is already under investigation for employing his family.
Mr Fillon, initially the favourite to win the presidential election in April and May, is now running third in the opinion polls.