World News

French parliament approves ban on phones in schools

French parliament approves ban on phones in schools

Although the government tried to handle the scandal, Macron's disgraced bodygurad fuelled critics of the president's jupiterian ruling style, with lawmakers from the right wing opposition and hard-left party having each filed a vote of confidence.

After Le Monde made the beating public and investigation was opened, Benalla, 26, was handed preliminary charges that included committing violence in a group, interfering in the exercise of a public function and the unauthorized public display of official insignia.

The government is expected to easily win the votes, mostly symbolic, at France's lower house of parliament later on Tuesday.

Macron's office gave him a two-week suspension after learning of a video showing the incident, but did not report it to prosecutors.

The Benalla affair is one of the biggest political challenges to face Macron since he took office in May 2017. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe acknowledged Tuesday that the Benalla episode involved "inacceptable acts" and "individual misconducts".

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Last week, Macron accused his opponents of "disproportionate actions", adding that he remained proud to have hired Benalla as he was a "devoted" employee who had "taken an unusual path" professionally.

The affair has taken a toll on the president's poll ratings, which are at their lowest since the former investment banker won the presidency past year on pledges to restore integrity and transparency to government.

He was also wearing a police armband at one point and was in possession of a police radio, though in hearings officials have said they do not know how he got them.

The first proposal, put forward by the conservative Republicans, garnered 143 votes in the National Assembly, fewer than half the 289 required to pass, while only 74 lawmakers supported the second motion, submitted by the Socialists, Communists and the leftist France Insoumise (France Unbowed) party, Efe reported.

Macron will be hoping for some respite as MPs head off on their summer break on Wednesday.


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