A French politician sparked outrage by telling a group of travellers that, perhaps, not enough gypsies were killed during Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime.
Gilles Bourdouleix, a 53-year-old member of the National Assembly for the centrist UDI party and mayor of Cholet, north western France, made the controversial remark as he was confronted by a group of travellers who had pitched camp on the city's soil.
"Maybe Hitler had not killed enough," Bourdouleix was quoted as saying by French newspaper Le Courrier de l'Ouest.
Bourdouleix was visiting a 150-caravan strong camp set up by members of gypsy evangelic community Vie et Lumière on a field outside Cholet.
The mayor initially denied making the remark, saying he had been misquoted.
Bourdouleix threatened to sue the newspaper, claiming he actually told the nomads that "if he was Hitler, they would have been dead," after they welcomed him mimicking Nazi salutes.
However, shortly afterwards Le Courrier de l'Ouest posted the disputed remarks on its website, prompting calls for Bourdouleix to be thrown out of his party.
UDI leader Jean-Louis Borloo condemned Bourdouleix's comments and said the party would take action against him.
"Even if [made] out of emotion, Bourdouleix's remarks are intolerable and incompatible with our values and with being part of the UDI," added party secretary Jean-Christophe Lagarde in a tweet. "The only possible sanction is the expulsion from the party."
It has been estimated that hundreds of thousands gypsies died in Nazi regime concentration camps.