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French far-right symbol Jean-Marie Le Pen in hospital

Published: Updated:

The founder of France’s far-right National Front, 90-year-old Jean-Marie Le Pen, was hospitalized Tuesday with a persistent fever, his entourage told AFP.

The measure was taken to prevent potential complications, it said in a statement, and though Le Pen was “not in danger”, he has cancelled the majority of his appointments for the coming days, his office said in a statement.

The increasingly frail Le Pen, who co-founded the National Front in 1972 and built it into a major force in French politics, turned 90 in hospital in June, when he was treated for a “dangerous pulmonary complication” resulting from a bout of flu.

That illness forced a delay in the verdict from a hate-speech case over comments he made about gay people.

Le Pen was succeeded in 2011 by his daughter Marine as leader of the FN, later re-baptized the National Rally.

Marine Le Pen has distanced herself from her father’s controversial legacy, which included a string of xenophobic and anti-Semitic comments that led to convictions.

Marine kicked him out of the FN in 2015 and changed the name of the party.

Jean-Marie Le Pen also spent several days in hospital in April 2015 with a heart problem, linked by party sources to stress from the highly publicized political blow-up with his daughter.