Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP party
Lawmakers from Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP party copied and pasted parts of a bill from WikipediaFRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/Getty Images

Wikipedia turned from useful source of information to source of embarrassment for group of lawmakers with Nicolas Sarkozy's party, after it emerged that they'd plagiarised a large part of a bill from the one of the website's entries.

Fourteen MPs and MEPs with the centre-right UMP party were facing ridicule, as it was revealed that entire paragraphs of a proposed legislation they put forward to the National Assembly in Paris were copied and pasted directly from the internet encyclopaedia.

The lift might have gone undetected if hadn't they forgotten to remove hyperlinks from the text.

Pierre Januel, a parliamentary assistant with the rival Europe Ecology - The Greens party - noticed that the bill urging France to recognise the Assyrian genocide was suspiciously rich in links to Wikipedia pages on related topics.

A quick look at the free encyclopaedia's French language article on the 1915 killings of hundreds of thousands of Assyrian Christians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire revealed that the wordings of numerous paragraphs were identical.

"Epic fail of Valérie Boyer who has plagiarised Wikipedia to make her law ... without removing the links," he tweeted, referring to the first signatory of the proposed legislation, which drew a connection between the persecution suffered by Assyrian Christians a century ago and that currently experienced by their descendants from the Islamic State (Isis).

Boyer defended herself claiming she did use Wikipedia as base for the text but had all contents checked by experts.

"There is very little information about the genocide and we are not experts," a member of her staff told BFM TV. "So, rather than inventing information, we had an expert check those we had available."

The incident is not likely to cause too much damage to the UMP's ascending popularity since Sarkozy returned at the helm of the party last October.

The conservative party made big gains at in local elections at the weekend, capturing 67 out of 101 departments, with the Socialists of President Francois Hollande winning the remaining 34.