Mayor of Cholet UDI Membership in Peril After Racist Comment Against Gypsy Travelers

Gypsy caravans Photo:  Stephane Mignon, flickr

Gypsy caravans
Photo: Stephane Mignon, flickr

On July 21, mayor of Cholet, Gilles Bourdouleix, lost his nerve in the face of a field occupation, which has put his Union des démocrates et indépendents (UDI) party membership in jeopardy.

The episode began on Sunday night after a group of gypsy travellers settled on a plot of land of Cholet. When Mayor Bourdouleix arrived to the scene, he quickly got himself into a heated interaction with some of the travellers. Exasperated by the Nazi salutes and the racist accusations coming from the group, the mayor suddenly blurted out, “Maybe, Hitler did not kill enough gypsies.”

The racist remark did not go unnoticed. On Monday 22, his comment appeared in the newspaper Le Courrier de l’Ouest

Bourdouleix, however, denied the publication, saying that he was misquoted. According to him, he uttered, “If it were Hitler, he would have killed them all.” He continued by noting that he was compared to Hitler and called a pedophile. And, to further strengthen his version of the events, Bourdouleix expressed his intention to sue the newspaper for “libel, defamation and damage to his image.”

Nevertheless, shortly afterwards, Le Courrier de l’Ouest posted on its website a recording that confirmed its claims.

In light of the evidence, UDI President Jean-Louis Borloo condemned the deputy mayor’s comments and affirmed that the highest body of the party would take any needed actions against him. Later in the day, party secretary Jean-Christophe Lagarde sealed his fate tweeting, “The only possible sanction is the expulsion from the party to be adopted at the Executive Committee next Wednesday.

The Parti Socialiste voiced its disapproval over the remark as well. “The words used by Mr. Bourdouleix are despicable and intolerable. They hurt France, are an insult to our history and against our common values,” declared President of the Assembly, Claude Bartolone, in a statement.

Despite the mounting negative reaction, Bourdouleix is not changing his position and will not be resigning. Instead, he stated that he has a testimony recorded from a Le Courrier de l’Ouest journalist corroborating that the recording is a hack.

Regardless of Bourdouleix’s assertion, his exclusion from the UDI seems certain.





  1. […] of Cholet Gilles Bourdouleix lost his nerve in the face of a field occupation, which has put his Union des démocrates et indépendents (UDI) party membership in jeopardy. The […]

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