Macron ally drops bid to lead EU liberal groupPTI | Brussels | Updated: 13-06-2019 21:17 IST | Created: 13-06-2019 21:06 IST
French President Emmanuel Macron's champion in last month's European elections on Thursday abandoned her bid to seize the leadership of parliament's liberal group. Nathalie Loiseau, France's former minister for Europe, was chosen by Macron to lead his new centrist party in the European Parliament and push his reform agenda.
But her performance in the campaign was judged lacklustre -- Macron himself stepped in as figurehead -- and her arrival in Brussels was seen as a disaster. An off the record briefing with French reporters was leaked and widely reported, revealing Loiseau making indiscreet personal attacks on rival centrists.
The French still make up the largest national contingent in the liberal caucus, formerly known as ALDE but now renamed "Renew Europe" for the new parliament. But Loiseau's office told AFP that rather than pushing to head the group -- the parliament's third largest -- she would seek to secure influential posts for her group.