Flour-bomb attack on Hollande

Protester dragged away after Hollande gives speech on housing and promises 2.5 million residential places

AFTER being covered in flour by a protester, Socialist presidential candidate François Hollande shrugged it off, saying "That's the risks of the job."

Hollande was speaking in Paris at a meeting after signing an agreement on social housing with the homelessness charity Fondation Abbé Pierre.

A woman burst on to the podium and threw the contents of a bag of flour all over him. She was dragged to the ground by security staff and taken outside.

The woman, a 45-year-old from Lille, shouted she was being "assassinated by the socialists in Lille".

Covered from head to toe in flour, election front-runner Hollande stayed calm until she was removed and then got washed and changed before continuing. He later said on his Twitter account that "there are other ways to show that you are unhappy".

Minutes earlier he had been booed by the audience for refusing to promise a ban on evictions for tenants, saying only that there should be no eviction without a promise of new accommodation.

He said his "60 Promises for France" election programme contained proposals to provide 2.5 million short and long-term residential places for students and families at risk. He added that he would stand by the Fondation Abbé Pierre "social contract" he had signed which called for 150,000 real social housing places, rent ceilings and an increase in the quota of social housing to be provided in urban renewal schemes.

UK newspaper The Guardian has reported that Hollande will visit London later this month. He is said to plan meetings with French nationals - there are said to be around 400,000 in the UK - to drum up support and explain his attack on the "world of finance".

It is not known if he has asked for a meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron who has been at odds with President Sarkozy over the Eurozone problems.

Photo & Video: AFP/Youtube/Telegraph