French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen's Front National offices have been raided in an investigation into the alleged misuse of European Union funds.

Brussels investigators claim Le Pen paid her bodyguard, Thierry Légier, more than €41,500 (£35,350) between October and December 2011 by falsely claiming he was an EU parliamentary assistant.

She is also accused of paying nearly €298,000 to her France-based assistant Catherine Griset between December 2010 and 2016.

The European parliament has demanded the total sum of money back and, faced with Le Pen's refusal, they will dock her salary until the amount is repaid.

Its anti-fraud office (Olaf) started the investigation into Le Pen on December 15 and Monday (20 February) was the second time her offices have been raided.

Front National officials confirmed the raid, but claimed it had been a media stunt to disrupt her presidential campaign.

"It looks on the face of it like a media operation whose goal is to disturb the course of the presidential campaign and to seek to harm Marine Le Pen at a time when her candidacy is making an important surge in voter intentions," the FN said in a statement, seen by The Telegraph.

Le Pen also channelled a similar tone on Friday (17 February) as she denied the allegations, claiming it was a campaign to discredit her.

She is the second candidate to be caught up in a "fake jobs" scandal after former favourite Francois Fillon is accused of paying his British wife roughly €830,000 for work she may have not completed.

According to polls, Le Pen is expected to win the first round of voting on 23 April with 27% of the vote.

However, at the head-to-head vote between the two leading candidates, Le Pen is predicted to lose out to Fillon or Emmanuel Macron.