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French government spokesman says MoDem exit from cabinet 'simplifies things'

French government spokesman says MoDem exit from cabinet 'simplifies things'”

Bayrou's resignation comes a day after his fellow party member, Defence Minister Sylvie Goulard, stepped down, citing the investigation as the reason.

In exchange, the president rewarded the party for its support by giving them key jobs in his first cabinet - a caretaker government between the two elections.

The adviser said Macron also wanted to avoid competition between ministers and their junior secretaries of state - something he experienced himself as economy minister under Socialist President Francois Hollande - which is why he had not given precise portfolios to many of them.

On Monday, the government announced that Richard Ferrand, a minister for territorial planning - another close Macron ally - was leaving the cabinet to chair the LREM party's group in parliament.

The reshuffle, which is expected to take place by the end of the day, was initially meant to be minor following Sunday's big win for Macron's Republic on the Move! party in legislative elections.

REM took 308 seats in the 577-seat National Assembly, meaning it does not need the support of MoDem, which won 42 seats, to push legislation through parliament.

When Bayrou threw his weight behind Macron's fledging party, the future president hailed it as a "turning point" in his campaign.

"It simplifies things", spokesman Christophe Castaner said on Europe 1 radio.

In an apparent reference to the downing of the jet, Lavrov told Tillerson in a phone call that the Russian Foreign Ministry reported on Thursday that it "violates the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic and harms the task of fighting terrorists and progress in settling the Syria crisis".

"A quarter of the government has gone", said Laurent Wauquiez, the conservative party's vice-president. Macron, who defeated the anti-Europe, far-right leader Marine Le Pen last month, said that he had always been a defender of globalisation and free trade during his time as minister but that leaders should hear from workers hit by globalisation.

French President Emmanuel Macron put a group of relative unknowns, some from outside politics, into ministerial roles on Wednesday to replace those that left under a cloud just weeks into his tenure.

Bayrou has long headed the small centrist party called MODEM and de Sarnez was his top collaborator. Being a target of a preliminary investigation in France is not an indication of guilt.

The new law that Bayrou was drafting would have banned the practice of hiring family members, among other measures.

Restoring the reputation of the French political class has become an increasingly important topic in France after Francois Fillon's presidential bid very publicly collapsed on reports that he paid his wife for work as a parliamentary aide that she allegedly did not perform.



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