News Agencies – May 16, 2011

THE Minister for youth Jeannette Bougrab walked out of a UMP meeting after a party member used racist language during a debate. 

Bougrab, the former president of the anti-prejudice rights watchdog La Halde, later demanded an apology from the audience member. 

She had been taking part in a debate on secularism during a meeting of the Franche-Comté branch of the UMP. 

As the subject of new funding plans for the building and restoration of mosques and churches was raised, a man, later identified as a 70-year-old former doctor, shouted out that he had had enough of “money going just toward bougnoules” – a racist term for people of North African origin. 

While a party member in the audience said the term was not directed at the minister, she responded saying she was descended from a family of Harkis (Muslim Algerians who fought for France during the Algerian war).

 While there was no question of expelling the man from the party, UMP party branch secretary Michel Vienet said, the member had been asked to write to apologise to the minister.

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