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Queen is dragged in to French firearms row as far-right Macron rival Eric Zemmour posts picture of her holding a rifle after he sparked outrage by waving a gun at journalists and telling them to 'back off' at arms show
- Eric Zemmour, 63, tweeted an image of the Queen looking down gun barrel
- Comes after he was criticised for pointing a rifle at journalists at Paris arms show
- Unlike Zemmour, in the photo taken 28 years ago, the Queen had not pointed the gun at anyone
- In footage posted online, Zemmour was seen looking down the scope of a rifle
- He then mumbled 'Are you joking? Push up, back off!' as he raised the gun
- As he did so, he turned towards the gathered group of journalists around him
By Peter Allen In Paris for MailOnline
Published: | Updated:
The Queen has been dragged into a blazing row about a possible future French President pointing a gun at journalists and telling them to ‘Back off!’.
Eric Zemmour, 63, was widely criticised for the stunt at a Paris arms show, and has deepened the controversy by tweeting a picture of the Queen looking down the barrel of a gun.
The image – which Mr Zemmour posted with a love heart – shows Her Majesty at the National Shooting Centre in Bisley, Surrey, 28 years ago.
But, unlike the far-Right French TV pundit, the Queen was not pointing the gun at anybody, and she was following all other safety procedures. MailOnline reached out to Buckingham Palace who declined to comment.
The image – which Mr Zemmour posted with a love heart – shows Her Majesty at the National Shooting Centre in Bisley, Surrey, 28 years ago
In scenes posted on social media, Mr Zemmour could be seen brandishing a sniper rifle in the direction of journalists at a Paris gun fair, without making any safety checks whatsoever. Pictured: Still grabs from a video of the incident a Paris gun fair showing Zemmour looking down the scope of the rifle before pointing it at the press on Wednesday
This contrasted sharply with Mr Zemmour who mumbled ‘Push up, back off!' as he pointed the gun – one used by French police special forces – at mainstream journalists whom he hates.
Citizenship Minister Marlène Schiappa was among the many who attacked Mr Zemmour, saying: 'Aiming at journalists with a weapon and telling them to "back off!" Is not funny.
'It is horrifying. Especially after having seriously said that he wanted to "reduce the power of the media”. In a democracy, press freedom is no joke and should never be threatened.'
Despite such controversies, polls in France continually point to Mr Zemmour going head-to-head with Emmanuel Macron during the next presidential election in April 2022.
Eric Zemmour, 63, was widely criticised for the stunt at a Paris arms show, and today he deepened the controversy by Tweeting a picture of the Queen looking down the barrel of a gun
Beyond posting a picture of the Queen, Mr Zemmour has since insisted the gun incident was ‘a joke’.
‘I’m not holding anyone up,’ he said. ‘There was no political message or threat.’
Mr Zemmour also described Ms Schiappa as an ‘imbecile,’ whose reaction was ‘grotesque’ and ‘ridiculous’.
He added: ‘When people attack me, I hit three times very hard. Let them be warned.’
Other Twitter users meanwhile mocked Mr Zemmour, with one saying: ‘The Queen has too much military experience and too much class to point a gun at journalists. When it comes to journalists, she knows she is the target and she accepts it.’
And another wrote: ‘At least [Her Majesty] knows where the trigger is.’
Mr Zemmour has not officially stated that he will stand to become head of state, but polls show he has huge popularity among the far-Right.
He has two convictions for spreading hatred against ethnic and religious minorities, and regularly blames immigrants for causing all the problems in modern France.
Mr Zemmour is an admirer of former U.S. President Donald Trump (pictured), and positions himself as anti-elite, anti-immigration champion
Marine Le Pen, of the far-Right National Rally party, was runner up to Mr Macron in the May 2017 presidential election, but her vote could be eclipsed by Mr Zemmour next year.
Mr Zemmour is an admirer of former U.S. President Donald Trump, and positions himself as anti-elite, anti-immigration champion.
He often criticises the 'fake news' mainstream media, despite frequently appearing on TV and writing articles and books.
Like Trump, he has long criticised 'establishment' media and hopes to build a political coalition of white working-class voters and wealthy conservatives.
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