France Jean-Marie Le Pen Ousted FN National Front Marine Le pen
FN leader Marine Le Pen has ousted her father, party chairman Jean-Marie Le Pen, for an allegedly anti-Semitic jibeReuters

French Front National (FN) founder Jean-Marie Le Pen is to take to court the far-right party he founded, after he was suspended over an anti-Semitic jibe in what he describes as a "Stalinist" move.

The 86-year-old firebrand said he wants back the title of honorary president of the FN that he was stripped of in May after repeating claims that Nazi gas chambers were a "detail in history".

Le Pen, who founded FN in 1972, said he is to dispute the decision before a Nanterre court, denouncing what he said was an attempt to gag him.

The patriarch was frozen out of FN by a party committee ruling backed by his daughter, Marine Le Pen, who since taking the reins of the party in 2011, has been working hard to clean up the toxic reputation of racism and chauvinism left by her father's rule.

The move didn't go down well with him. A furious Jean-Marie initially said he felt "betrayed" and urged Marine to drop his surname by marrying either her partner Louis Alliot, or FN vice-president Florian Philippot (who happens to be homosexual).

Now, announcing his decision to take legal action, Jean-Marie, who has often commended France's Nazi-friendly Vichy regime and its leader, Marshal Petain, said the suspension reminded him of Soviet totalitarianism. "It's a Stalinist method", he told AFP.

Through a so-called de-demonization process, Marine has successfully managed to turn the political movement from fringe extremist party to mainstream political force, with FN winning around 25% nationwide at local elections in March.

Nevertheless, the party's fresh, respectable face has been often exposed to Jean-Marie's torpedoing comments, which appealed to the party's old base on one hand, but risked alienating new voters on the other.

Mother-of-three Marine had previously distance herself from some of her father's views, and dropped his blog from FN's official website after he used an anti-Semitic reference to lambaste one of his more vocal critics, Jewish singer Patrick Bruel.

The final straw, however, came in a radio interview in which and repeated claims that gas chambers used to kill Jews in Nazi concentration camps were "merely a detail in the history of the Second World War".

In 1991, Jean-Marie was infamously ordered to pay €183,000 (£135,000, $207,000) for saying the same thing.