Top Macron ally quits

PARIS - France's Justice Minister, François Bayrou, has handed in his resignation hours before President Emmanuel Macron reshuffles his government.

Mr Bayrou's centrist party MoDem has now lost all three posts in Mr Macron's cabinet within 24 hours.

President Macron came to power with a promise to fight political sleaze.

MoDem, allied to Mr Macron's La République en Marche (LREM) party, is facing an inquiry into claims that it used EU funds to pay party workers.

Defence Minister and ex-MEP Sylvie Goulard was the first MoDem minister to hand in her resignation on Tuesday.

After Mr Bayrou said he was standing down early on Wednesday, it became clear that Marielle de Sarnez, European Affairs Minister, was also leaving the government to take over as head of MoDem in the National Assembly.

The resignations have not been confined to Mr Bayrou's party.

Mr Macron's close ally Richard Ferrand stepped down on Monday, amid unrelated allegations he had used insider information to secure a lucrative property deal for his wife while he was head of a mutual health insurance fund.

Mr Ferrand and Ms Goulard have both denied any wrongdoing.

However, the allegations had cast a shadow over the new government. It was François Bayrou who outlined details of a bill to clean up politics.

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