Marine Le Pen says she was 'on side of Iraq' when US and UK started war with Saddam Hussein

Ms Le Pen made the comments after defending her relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin

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Marine Le Pen has revealed she was “on the side of Iraq” when the US and UK started the war Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Ms Le Pen, 53, made the comments during a visit to the Calvados region of Normandy as she continues her preparations for the French Presidential election run-off against Emmanuel Macron on Sunday.

The National Rally leader was forced to defend herself over the longstanding support for Russia President Vladimir Putin as the invasion of Ukraine continues.

Instead, Ms Le Pen opted to offer her support for Ukraine, while also speaking out about Iraq.

Marine Le Pen
Marine Le Pen
Ms Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron face off in a Presidential election run-off on Sunday
Ms Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron face off in a Presidential election run-off on Sunday

She said: “When Ukraine is attacked, of course I am on the side of Ukraine in the same way as when the Americans attacked Iraq, I was on the side of Iraq."

Mr Macron, who won the first-round election vote by four points, has slammed Ms Le Pen’s plans to ban the hijab, saying that it is as a result of the legacy of her father Jean-Marie Le Pen.

But Ms Le Pen has now attempted to distance herself away from her father and his far-right past.

She added: “I want to tell you that there are a thousand differences between him and me.

“He was the president of a movement of opposition. I have spent ten years as the leader of a movement of [future] government.”

Mr Macron again hit out at Ms Le Pen’s plans for referendums in order to change the constitution which would allow her to introduce a new preference law.

He said: “Once elected, she believes she is above the constitution since she can decide not to respect it by changing the rules.

“Others do this in other countries. It’s done very well in Hungary. That lets you change regimes by hand."

Ms Le Pen has also backed plans for a constitutional change which would give preference to French nationals over foreign citizens, but added that foreign residents have “nothing to fear”.

She continued: “People on our territory who obey our laws and respect our values ... have no risk from my policies. They can stay in France."