Eric Zemmour likes to be compared to 'partygate' Boris Johnson
The far-right presidential candidate does not like being compared to Trump as much as he fancies to draw parallels with Johnson, who is now threatened to face legal action after the partygate scandal.
Eric Zemmour, a far-right presidential candidate for the upcoming elections in France, said that of all the public figures he was compared to, including Donald Trump, he feels he resonates most with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Zemmour was on France Inter's morning news program when the host asked him about "populist" foreign leaders. Zemmour mentioned characters like Trump and Bolsonaro, and even Italian ex-deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini.
He was asked whether these characters are role models for him, only to respond with that he did not make a mention of Boris Johnson.
Read more: Who is Eric Zemmour? Meet the French Donald Trump.
“You have not mentioned Boris Johnson and I am astonished because he is without doubt the leader I feel I am closest to, culturally, intellectually … and he’s obviously a European like me but English,” Zemmour said.
The French candidate went on to draw comparisons: Zemmour and Johnson are both journalists, and both have written history books on their countries. Zemmour wrote of France, De Gaulle and Napoleon, whereas Johnson wrote about Winston Churchill.
He drew more comparisons in November: “We do have a lot in common and above all he pulled off an electoral strategy that I propose to implement: an alliance of the working class and that part of the patriotic bourgeoisie who wish to restore French sovereignty and defend an identity tragically under threat.”
The candidate visited London last year, but did not meet Johnson. Rather, he visited to promote his book, France hasn't had its last word, and to muster election support from French citizens in the UK.
In Ipsos' latest opinion poll, Zemmour and Marine Le Pen, another leading right-wing candidate, could be reaching 14% of the vote in the first round in April. A second poll from Ifop also suggests that Valerie Pecresse, Le Pen and Zemmour could maintain similar votes.
Failures of leadership and judgement
Zemmour chose to make the Johnson comparison at a time when the latter is embroiled in countless scandals and faces major uncertainty regarding his political future.
According to a leaked email in early January, Boris Johnson's principal private secretary Martin Reynolds, invited more than 100 colleagues to "socially distanced drinks in the No. 10 garden," during the first lockdown in England.
The official instructions regarding workplace in-person meetings indicated meetings should only be held if "absolutely necessary."
The email was published by ITV News on Monday and included Reynolds telling those invited that it would be "nice to make the most of the lovely weather," and "bring their own booze."
On the same day of the gathering, the then-culture secretary, Oliver Dowden, delivered the Downing Street coronavirus briefing, in which he announced that 363 more individuals in the UK had died from Covid in the preceding 24 hours, where he told the public "You can meet one person outside of your household in an outdoor, public place provided that you stay two meters apart."
See this: A timeline of scandals: Boris Johnson partying
A recent poll showed that 57% of its voters believe that Johnson and his party should resign after this scandal, while analysts are saying that his future doesn't look so bright.
On Monday, Johnson apologized after criticisms engulfed Downing Street: Johnson's government was criticized for "failures of leadership and judgment" in permitting parties to take place in his offices while the rest of the country had to follow strict restrictions and lockdowns.
Regarding the probe, Scotland Yard police said that it will not be revealing the names of staff who will receive penalties, which prompts a question among the public on whether Johnson will be among those fined or not.
Sue Gray, a senior civil servant, published her report about the scandal on Monday, including potential evidence of 300 photographs, handed to the police for investigation.