Lionnel Luca
French politician Lionnel Luca sent a controversial tweetANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images

The tweet from a French UMP deputy of the opposition using the Germanwings A320 crash in the French Alps to joke about the French President sparked outrage in the French Assembly less than an hour after MPs observed a minute of silence to honour the victims.

Centre-right party UMP deputy Lionnel Luca sent the controversial tweet, in which he estimated President Francois Hollande had begun a professional "reconversion" as a "commentator" after the crash of the aircraft.

The tweet read: "We though we had lost FH (Francois Hollande) after this deadly electoral weekend. We have just found him again as the commentator of the A320 crash! Reconversion."

The tweet was sent at 1pm Paris-time on 24 March, minutes before the French MPs observed a minute of silence.

After the symbolic moment, an MP from the President's Party Socialiste (PS) party speaking during the question time mentioned the tweet, sparking whistles and jeers in the Chamber.

"I wanted to say how shell-shocked we are by this tragedy and how [frustrated] we are that a UMP deputy could be ironic about this crash, via a tweet," Sabine Buis, MP of Ardeche, told the Assembly.

Claude Bartolone, President of the Assembly, struggled to restore calm.