French President Francois Hollande and his former companion Valerie Trierweiler
Francois Hollande and Valerie Trierweiler's relationship ended in January, after Hollande was accused of having an affair with actress Julie Gayet(Reuters)

Francois Hollande's former partner says that France's socialist president hates the poor, in her potentially explosive memoirs she penned after the collapse of their relationship earlier this year.

In Merci Pour Ce Moment ('Thank You For This Moment') Valérie Trierweiler claims that, in private, the leftist leader refers to the less wealthy with scorn, calling them "the toothless".

"He portrays himself as a man who does not like the rich. In reality, the president does not like the poor," Trierweiler wrote. "He, the man of the left, calls them 'the toothless', very proud of his humour."

In another passage leaked to French media ahead of the book' s publication, which is scheduled for tomorrow, the France's former first lady wrote that he expressed dislike for her working-class parents.

'Toothless' poor

"They're not very nice," he told her during a Christmas dinner with her family in her native town of Angers, western France.

The revelation comes at a delicate political moment for Hollande, who has been openly accused by the most radical members of his party of betraying socialist campaign pledges that got him elected to pursue a pro-business agenda instead.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls
Hollande's unpopularity forced French PM Manuel Valls to form a new government.(Benoit Tessier/Reuters)

Last week prime minister Manuel Valls resigned and was re-appointed and formed a new cabinet to silence dissenting ministers.

Economy ministry Arnaud Montebourg, who had urged Hollande to end austerity policies he described as unjust, was replaced Emmanuel Macron, a former banker.

Continuing recession

Left-wing education minister Benoit Hamon and culture minister Aurelie Filippetti, who supported Montebourg, also lost their jobs.

Hollande's nine-year relationship with Trierweiler ended earlier this year, after Closer magazine published photos alleging the president was having an affair with actress Julie Gayet.

France is struggling to get out of the economic crisis and has recorded no economic growth this year.

Since the election in 2012, Hollande's approval ratings have collapsed to below 20%, making him the most unpopular president in recent French history.