French PM Manuel Valls and his wife Anne Gravoin
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls and his wife Anne GravoinReuters

A former French foreign minister under the socialist government of Francois Mitterrand has claimed that prime minister Manuel Valls is under Jewish "influence" of his wife Anne Gravoin, a celebrated violinist of Jewish origin.

Roland Dumas, who also served as president of the Constitutional Court, said that Valls has "personal alliances".

"Everyone knows that he is married to someone ... someone very good who has an influence on him," he said on an interview with BFMTV channel.

Asked whether Valls is under Jewish influence, Dumas said: "Probably, I think so."

"Of course [he is influenced by his wife] Why not? Why not tell?" he continued.

It is not the first time that Valls is "accused" of being controlled by some sort of Jewish lobby within his domestic walls.

Last April, footballer Nicolas Anelka claimed that Valls was influenced by his Jewish wife to ban his friend and comedian Dieudonné accused of anti-Semitism.

Anelka was handed a five-game ban by the FA and left British team West Bromwich Albion after he celebrated a goal with the so-called "quenelle" salute, which was first conceived by Dieudonné in December.

In January 2014 the French government moved to prevent Dieudonné's national tour over the alleged anti-Semitic contents of his show.

The ban was strongly supported by the then-interior minister, Manuel Valls.

Dumas, who was foreign minister under President François Mitterrand from 1984 to 1986 and from 1988 to 1993, also praised the father of Manuel Valls in his interview. "I know his family. The father was a great Spanish Republican and a good painter. He remained in France when Franco [Spanish dictator] came to power. It means something to me! He [Valls] took the opposite view," Dumas said.

The comments came after hundreds of graves at a Jewish cemetery in Sarre-Union, a small town near the German border, have been defaced by unknown assailants.

The graveyard was left "in ruins" and 300 and 400 tombs were desecrated.

Jacques Wolff, a local Jewish community representative, said that "all the graves were knocked over or crashed". French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said a criminal investigation into the incident has been launched.

France's President Francois Hollande described the incident as "odious and barbaric" attack against French values.

"France is determined to fight relentlessly against anti-Semitism and those who want to undermine the values of the Republic," Hollande said.