Steerpike writing in the Spectator.
As the race for the Elysée hots up, presidential candidates are busy courting voters and raising funds. And with Macron’s poll ratings flatlining in Paris, all eyes are on Eric Zemmour, the right-wing talkshow host who is still yet to declare but is nevertheless third in the polls. So Mr S was intrigued to learn that Zemmour plans to come to London this weekend in light of the capital’s considerable French contingent, with the metropolis often cited as the sixth biggest French city.
Unfortunately Zemmour’s plans have run aground, with successive venues cancelling on the anti-establishment candidate in light of his controversial past statements — some of which have put him beyond the pale of much of polite Parisian society. Given Zemmour’s rockstar status — and proven ability to pack out venues — Steerpike was curious as to why cash-strapped concert halls did not want to host the television sensation. And now the reason why can be revealed: officials representing the London’s right-on mayor Sadiq Khan have been getting in touch with those hosting Zemmour to dissuade them from welcoming the controversial outsider.
Here is Khan himself answering Zack Polanski of the London Green party on the subject. Tweeted with delight by EELV UK the London branch of the French Green Party. I can’t embed the video, but it is here.
‘Nobody who tries to divide us… is welcome in London’ Unless they are anti the indigenous population; that goes without saying.
A spokesman for Zemmour said: ‘If this information is true, it would be very surprising in a city where calls to jihad are authorised in the streets. It seems to us that it is not for the mayor of London to say who can say what and where and at what time. This is a bizarre situation in the country of freedom of expression.’
Mr Zemmour’s team reacted furiously to the cancellation (by the Royal Institution a research centre in Westminster with Prince Charles as its patron) , calling the decision “incomprehensible in terms of commercial law, it is a major fault. And above all scandalous in terms of method. Unless you want to knowingly sabotage the moment.
“We had paid the entire bill, given the technical details … sent the invitations to the French community in London, accredited the media,” they added in a statement. “In the land of freedom of speech, the situation is somewhat ironic.”
Mr Zemmour’s team announced they would be holding a separate event in London for the French community on Friday evening.
I suppose if Mr Zemmour does win the election he can expect the same sort of rudness as that face by President Trump.