Meet France’s new PM, Edouard Philippe

Smiling bearded man in suit and tie, Edouard Philippe
Edouard Philippe, the new prime minister of France

Edouard Philippe, 46, is the new Prime Minister of France. 

The mayor of Le Havre for right-wing party Les Républicains, he has been a member of the French National Assembly since 2012.

His appointment was made in a very short announcement at the Elysée Palace after a day of waiting without any word on whether there had been a problem with the widely-expected announcement.

Now Mr Philippe and President Macron will work together to appoint a government.

Mr Philippe was born into an ordinary family of left-leaning French teachers in Rouen, but his education, at the prestigious Sciences Po and then the elite National School of Administration (ENA), transported him into the highest echelons of French public life.

He is a fervent supporter of Les Républicains moderate Alain Juppé, and in 2016 worked on his campaign to win the party’s nomination for the presidency. Mr Juppé who lost out to François Fillon, is mayor of Bordeaux, and was French Prime Minister under Jacques Chirac.

Edouard Philippe represents three ideas that are key to Emmanuel Macron’s presidency: his youth is in keeping with the concept of renewal; he nevertheless has a good political pedigree; and he comes from the moderate right, which Macron has yet to win over.

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Above all, however, the appointment of Edouard Philippe as prime minister sends out an unequivocal signal that Macron intends to break down the oppositional left versus right politics that has hitherto dominated French government.

One solid positive ahead of the parliamentary battles to come is that Mr Philippe is a sportsman – and his passion is for boxing.

However, while France waited to discover its new prime minister, idle hands got to work with Twitter users having some fun…

 

Even Barack Obama wanted to know…

And a thought for the journalists with time to fill…

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