Bannon to speak at National Front convention in France

Ms Le Pen wants to change how French voters see the party which was founded by her father

Ms Le Pen wants to change how French voters see the party which was founded by her father

"Wear it as a badge of honor".

Bannon's speech came as he tours Europe on what he has described as a listening tour.

The former presidential senior advisor is set to give a surprise speech in Lille this weekend at a major conference that many believe will see Front National leader and former presidential candidate Marine Le Pen rebrand the party and potentially even rename it.

And heading the line-up of guest speakers is Donald Trump's former adviser Steve Bannon.

Bannon, who ran right-wing Breitbart News, was among Trump's closest aides during the 2016 USA election campaign, the presidential transition and his first months in office. Let them call you nativists. "Wear it as a badge of honor", he told the crowd at the party congress. The showing of the League, a National Front ally, "is a new step in the awakening of the people", Le Pen tweeted.

"You're part of a worldwide movement bigger than France, bigger than Italy", Bannon told National Front supporters, denouncing central banks, central governments and "crony capitalists".

The former Goldman Sachs investment banker, who was ousted from the White House past year and stepped down as chairman of Breitbart News Network in January, has visited Switzerland - he gave his first European speech in Zurich earlier in the week - and Italy, where voters last Sunday elected a parliament dominated by anti-immigrant populists.

"Right or left doesn't mean anything and doesn't reflect the real division in France today which is between those who feel the nation is an obstacle and those who feel the nation is a jewel to be defended", she said. "And history is on our side", he said.

He also praised Le Pen's vision of a political spectrum that is no longer left- right but nationalists versus globalists.

The European tour comes as Bannon's role in American politics is uncertain.

Bannon was himself a high-profile departure from the White House last August and was written off by Trump earlier this year, who named him "sloppy Steve", following the publication in January of incendiary comments attributed to him.

"Let them call you racists", Bannon said to the French National Front Party. As right-wing, anti-immigrant, parties gain strength across Europe Le Pen says the party needs to build broader alliances if it ever wants to govern.

Marion Marechal-Le Pen, a former lawmaker, is more socially conservative and economically liberal than her aunt.

A new name, a new leadership structure and new bylaws are being unveiled at the two-day congress with the hope of making the party relevant again.

"We're at a turning point ... don't bury us", she said in an interview with France's Le Figaro newspaper published Friday.

The party conference in Lille will also feature a vote as to whether the elder Le Pen can keep his title as the party's honorary president.

Le Pen is seeking to make over her struggling party after her failed presidential bid previous year.

She will announce a proposed new name for the party on Sunday.

He called the Italy vote "an earthquake" that has boosted far-right movements across Europe.

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