Jean-Philippe Tanguy, the standing lepenism

Jean-Philippe Tanguy, the standing lepenism

“Demagogue” for some, endowed with “a certain talent” for others: the young RN deputy Jean-Philippe Tanguy, 36, was noticed during his first steps in the National Assembly, mixing injunctions, anger, irony on the podium… even slip-ups.

Born in 1986 when Jean-Marie Le Pen’s National Front made a smashing entry into the Assembly with 35 deputies, Mr. Tanguy is part of the generation that exploded this record by obtaining 89 seats in the last legislative elections.

Elected in June in the 4th district of the Somme, at the expense of the outgoing LREM Jean-Claude Leclabart, close to Bruno Le Maire, he realizes the dream of the child who followed the “questions to the government” on television, forging in a month a reputation as a voluble tribune.

“Silence for France,” he mumbled in front of bemused left-wing deputies whom he considered too noisy in the Assembly gallery at the end of a long night of debates on purchasing power.

Relayed on social networks, this untimely injunction contributes to making known to the general public this young MP, keen on politics and from the ranks of Debout la France, the party of sovereigntist Nicolas Dupont-Aignant, of which he was parliamentary assistant from 2012 to 2020.

From a “Gaullist” mother – but who voted, according to her son, for the RN candidate in the first round of the last presidential election before abstaining in the second “lest she win” -, Mr Tanguy for his part espoused the Lepenist cause during the 2021 regional elections by joining Sébastien Chenu’s RN lists in Hauts-de-France.

And, the following year, he became deputy director of Marine Le Pen’s campaign, advocating the continuation of the strategy of “dediabolization” theorized by the far-right leader.

At the Assembly rostrum, wearing a suit and tie, the dress code of rigor among the deputies of the National Rally, he recovered after getting carried away against the Nupes, resorting to humor and especially irony.

“Even if you are sometimes very painful, you allow us to be funny,” he said, causing Ms. Le Pen and Mr. Chenu to burst out laughing.

– The rebels are counterattacking –

On the left, his “silence for France” has not passed for all that: the rebellious Alexis Corbière was quick to draw a parallel with a sentence by the writer Franc-Nohain before the assassination on July 31, 1914 of Jean Jaurès: “France speaks. M. Jaurès, be quiet”.

“We can clearly see the rise of nationalisms, the new Charles Maurras (…). We find the same figures”, argued the deputy of the Nupes during a recent tribute to Jean Jaurès, refusing to believe in the dediabolization of the RN.

Just like a member of the majority who rejects the moderate image that Mr. Tanguy would help to give the RN.

“It’s quite the opposite: he is a demagogue who wants to make people believe anything,” comments the source who sits on the Finance Committee where Mr Tanguy suffered his first setback. He was running for the presidency, which traditionally goes to the first opposition party, but the insubordinate Eric Coquerel won for the Nupes.

His opponents agree on one point: “He has a certain oratorical talent,” comments centrist MP Charles de Courson, also a member of the Finance Committee, to AFP. “He has an oratorical fluency, it’s true, which makes him formidable and dangerous,” admits the source of the majority who deplores his excesses.

In particular, he had to backtrack after explaining that Mr Macron “knew how to solicit the homo-erotic aspirations of a number of executives” when he was an investment banker, sparking an outcry in the political class.

A graduate of Sciences Po and Essec, the deputy feels very comfortable on economic issues and especially on industrial issues: “He defends his opinions on economic nationalism with a certain talent that I do not share,” admits Mr. de Courson.

A point of view disputed within the majority: “He makes political mistakes, does not control his files and loses his nerves”, assures a government source who assures that the RN deputy “does not know the files well”.

A criticism in good standing that Mr. de Courson does not share: “These are arguments of authority like Martine Aubry used to say within the PS about the non-mastery of files with the success that we are experiencing,” he retorts. “You should never underestimate your opponents,” he advises.

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