Marine Le Pen, the far-right French presidential candidate, has called for a ban on free education for foreign children.

Speaking in Paris, the National Front leader said:

" I think that national solidarity I don't have anything against foreigners but I tell them: if you come to our country don't expect to be taken care of, to be looked after, that your children will be educated without charge."

Le Pen is likely to progress to the second round of France's presidential elections in April 2017. It is expected that she would then lose a head-to-head vote against centre-right candidate Francois Fillion though pundits are wary of dismissing her outright in the wake of Donald Trump's presidential victory and Britain's vote to leave the EU.

Le Pen has likened herself to Nigel Farage who led the Brexit campaign. She was also the first international political figure to congratulate Donald Trump on his victory in November.

Her political career has been spent cleaning up the image of the French National Front; scourging it of its most extreme elements in an attempt to make it electable. This process has created tensions with her father who founded the party that have spilled over into the public sphere and the courtroom.

In a message to immigrant parents she said: "Playtime is over!"