Jean-Marie Le Pen may be facing an ousting from his right-wing National Front party following Nazi gas chambers remarks, but a number of party members have taken to Twitter to show their support for his comments.
Earlier this month Le Pen, the Front National (FN) party's founder, gave a radio interview in which he repeated claims that the Nazi gas chambers were "a detail of history", as well as praising the French wartime leader and collaborator Marshal Petain, who he claimed was unfairly maligned.
Last week, his daughter Marine said she will actively oppose the 86-year-old firebrand's candidacy with France's FN in upcoming regional elections, condemning her father for repeating his remarks.
'All but an imbecile'
Despite this incident, Mr Le Pen -- who declared to far-right newspaper Riverol that "one is only ever betrayed by one's own" -- has been attracting support from loyal official and party members.
Jean-Christophe Gruau, FN candidate in Laval, tweeted he was refusing to "hide his pleasure" at reading Le Pen's interview in Riverol, according to L'Entente, a website that tracks the far-right party's every move.
In the tweet, Gruau, who is a councillor for Mayenne, added Mr Le Pen "is all but an imbecile", adding the FN's founder is a "free man" who does not "hide away certain subjects linked to history".
The Councillor added: "It takes all kinds to make a good FN".
About Pétain, Gruau also declared "We slap on Petain, then will come the turn of de Gaulle, Pompidou and others. Tired of this anti-French hatred!"
Adhering to anti-Semitic speech
Frédéric Boussard, the departmental election candidate in Ploemeur (Morbihan), who is not known for his commitment to freedom of expression after expressing his interest in the closure of iTele, a TV channel, if the FN came to power in the 2017 presidential elections.
In his interview, Mr Le Pen went on to say that France is governed by immigrants -- singling out the Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who is of Spanish heritage -- and that France needs an alliance with Russia to save the "world of the whites".
On his new Twitter account, candidate Boussard supported Mr Le Pen, writing: "I understand your position (regarding Le Pen's remarks) but I adhere to his speech".
Boussard is known for his anti-Semitic views, recently illustrated by a tweet in which he said: "We will not actually move forward without addressing the problem of shoatic magic wand".