A meeting of the French Parliament was suspended after a racist comment was made to a black member of parliament by a lawmaker belonging to the far-right National Rally party. During a meeting of the National Assembly, Carlos Martens Bilongo was interrupted by a call of “go back to Africa” from the far-right backbenches. The incident created uproar within the Lower House and resulted in the meeting being suspended by Yaël Braun-Pivet, who acts as the equivalent of the Commons Speaker in the UK Government.
Speaking to his colleagues in the Lower House, Carlos Martens Bilongo stated: “The weather forecast reveals a significant deterioration of the climate -”
His speech was interrupted by a shout from the back of the hall: “Go back to Africa!”
The French MP, who is of Congolese and Angolan descent, responded: “No, not at all.”
Before he could continue, surrounding members of the left-wing France Unbowed party erupted in cries of outrage at the apparent racist remark.
President of the Lower House Yaël Braun-Pivet asked: “Who is the member of parliament who just uttered that sentence?”
She continued: “Sorry, this is unbelievable. I will suspend the meeting for five minutes.”
It is understood the remark came from the benches of the National Rally party, formerly headed by French Presidential candidate Marine Le Pen.
French media sources have reported the MP responsible for the interruption was Gregoire de Fournas, the representative for the constituency of Gironde.
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