Housing Minister Brought to Tears after Attack by the Right

At Tuesday’s National Assembly, Cécile Duflot, Housing Minister and former leader of the party European Ecology – The Greens (EELV), was moved to tears after a UMP deputy questioned a polemic tweet from her partner.

The scandal began on Sunday, July 14th, when Xavier Cantat, Duflot’s husband and an environmental activist, confessed on Twitter that he was glad to boycott the Bastille Day parade. He rejected an invitation to witness the celebration tweeting, “Proud that my chair is empty during the boots parade at Champs-Elysées.”

The UMP did not wait long to respond. Philippe Meunier, UMP deputy and co-founder of the Popular Right, decried Cantat’s remarks on Tuesday, criticizing the government for inviting someone who does not respect France’s military to the “official tribune”. Other UMP representatives also voiced displeasure over Cantat but were not as critical as deputy Meunier.

In the face of this provocation, Jean-Marc Ayrault, France’s Prime Minister, quickly came to Duflot’s defense but also cautioned him: “I have to say, sir, you do not honor France by your particularly shabby and controversial comments.” The very next day, Najat Belkacem-Vallaud, the government spokesman, labeled Meunier’s comments as “disrespectful” and “a treacherous attack.” She continued by saying that the events depicted “a very unflattering picture of politics.” None of them, however, addressed the content of the tweet.

Ayrault’s statement did not stop Mr. Meunier from putting forth further commentary on the affair. Later the same day he tweeted: “The ‘crocodile tears’ of Ms. Duflot are nothing compared to the tears of widows and orphans of our fallen soldiers on the Field of Honor.” On social platforms, many users complained about and mocked Duflot’s performance at the National Assembly, some even suggesting she resign from her post.

After the negative reaction she has received from both the right and the public, it would seem wise for Ms. Duflot to keep a low profile for a while.


  1. […] the National Assembly, Minister of Territorial Equality and Housing Cécile Duflot was moved to tears after a UMP deputy questioned a polemic tweet from her partner. Xavier Cantat, Duflot’s husband […]

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