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Marine Le Pen has been accused of plagiarism but her camp says it was a tribute


Passages from her speech seemed to have striking similarities to a speech Francois Fillon gave in April.

French presidential election candidate Marine Le Pen has been accused of plagiarising parts of a speech by defeated rival Francois Fillon.

At a campaign event in Villepinte on May Day, Le Pen referenced the geography of France, going on to talk about French influence across the world from Shanghai to Mexico. Even for those who don’t speak French, the similarity to a speech made by Fillon on April 15 is remarkable.

First spotted by French YouTube channel Ridicule TV, France 24 claims the speeches “referred to legions of non-French speakers across the globe, ‘waiting in lines at the Alliance Francaise in Shanghai, Tokyo, or Mexico’, as well as ‘for the French secondary school in Rabat or Rome’”.

Le Pen’s camp has said the use of similar sections in the speech were “a nod” to Fillon, the centre-right candidate who fell in the first round of the presidential election.

Answering the accusations, Le Pen’s campaign manager David Rachline told France 2: “There were some interesting elements… I think this little wink was appreciated, including by supporters of Mr Fillon.”

Le Pen faces businessman and centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron in the second round of the presidential election on May 7.

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