Bannon air time cuts far-right RN's media allowance

Media watchdog decides that media appearances of Donald Trump's former chief strategist should be counted as support for RN's European election campaign

The media appearances in France of Donald Trump's former chief strategist Steve Bannon must be included in calculations of media air time given to Marine Le Pen's far-right Rassemblement National (RN) party during the European election campaign.

Mr Bannon arrived in France last week, and has presented himself as an 'informal adviser' to RN, acting in a 'voluntary capacity' to 'give advice' and help develop 'connections'.

France has strict media laws during election periods, which includes careful monitoring of the amount of broadcast time each political party receives.

The Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel, which has responsibility for ensuring media organisations comply with the law confirmed reports that Mr Bannon's TV and radio appearances would be included as part of RN's media time.

It followed a tweet from Quotidien journalist Julien Bellver, which said: "Marine Le Pen may deny her close ties with Steve Bannon, but the CSA has decided to count the time of the former Trump councillor into the time of the RN. He is considered as a support."

As a result, party candidates, including RN's European elections list leader Jordan Bardella, could see their media time cut.

In an interview with Le Parisien, Mr Bannon described the election campaign in France as “without a doubt” the most important in the EU parliamentary elections.

Polls suggest the far-right, Eurosceptic RN is neck-and-neck with the centrist Republic on the Move party of President Emmanuel Macron.

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