French MP resigns after ‘using £1,700 in expenses to buy lingerie and clothes’

Coralie Dubost has resigned from her post and will stond for re-election next month (Picture: Getty)

A French MP has pulled out of an upcoming election after it emerged she spent thousands of pounds in expenses on lingerie and clothes.

Coralie Dubost also reportedly asked her aides to spy on her household staff and tasked them with picking up her dry cleaning.

The 39-year-old was due to stand for re-election to the National Assembly for Emmanuel Macron’s party until an internal report compiled by a parliamentary watchdog was leaked.

According to French media, she spent up to £1,700 on clothing items, money which is supposed to be ring-fenced for work purposes.

Ms Dubost is also alleged to have spent a chunk of her £4,800 per month in expenses on trips to the beach, as well as using ‘demeaning’ language towards staff.

After the claims surfaced in French media, she told Mediapart: ‘The time has come for me to withdraw from political life and devote myself to my family…I have been targeted by unfair attacks, which do a disservice to my political group, to electoral deadlines and more generally to democracy.’

She said ‘I am stupid…I am not a cheat’ and suggested poor advice from a former assistant contributed to the spending breaches.

Ms Dubost was first voted into parliament to represent part of Herault in the south of France in 2017.

Ms Dubost was one of the political newcomers who helped Emmanuel Macron sweep to a stunning victory in 2017 (Picture: AFP)

The former lawyer and business school executive was one of the recruits who helped build the president’s political party from the ground up, a vehicle which propelled him into the Élysée Palace against the odds.

With Mr Macron re-elected, he hopes to maintain the momentum and secure a parliamentary majority for En Marche.

The findings of an ethics investigation into Ms Dubost are embarrassing for his party at a crucial time in the election campaign.

While En Marche is leading in the polls, he looks set to face a united challenge from France’s hitherto divided left.

Jean Luc Melenchon, who is aiming to become prime minister after coming third in the presidential election, has negotiated an electoral pact between his party and the greens.

Mr Macron is fighting to hold on to his parliamentary majority next month after being re-elected as president

With talks ongoing with a rival socialist party and the communist party, the left bloc’s vote could deprive Mr Macron of a majority in parliament, making it difficult for him to pass laws.

Despite being defeated in the presidential run-off, the far-right National Front also goes into the election stronger than ever.

Marine Le Pen attracted 41.5% of the vote in last month’s race, the highest ever by a radical right candidate in France.

It emerged this week that Boris Johnson is yet to speak to his French counterpart following his re-election.

Relations between Paris and London have been tense in recent years over issues like post-Brexit trade and small boats crossing the English Channel.

Downing Street sought to downplay any suggestion of a rift between Mr Johnson and Mr Macron, saying ‘they’ve spoken on a regular basis’ previously and ‘I’m sure they will speak in due course’.

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