20:45 GMT28 November 2020
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    The French government is facing mounting criticism amid a swirling scandal involving President Emmanuel Macron's top security aide.

    France's opposition conservative party ThenRepublicans has called for a vote of no-confidence in the government amid an ongoing scandal with the head of President Emmanuel Macron's security team, who was filmed assaulting protesters during a May Day rally.

    Critics accuse Macron of failing to punish Alexandre Benalla and say that the president has lost touch with ordinary people since he took over the country’s top job more than a year ago.

    "The government has failed and must be held responsible in front of parliament," the head of The Republicans party in the lower house, Christian Jacob, told reporters.

    However, a vote of no-confidence will hardly be able to unseat the government which Macron’s La Republique En Marche enjoys a solid majority in parliament.

    Last week French television networks obtained a video where Benalla and a Republique En Marche staff member, Vincent Crase, are seen beating up two people in Paris’ Latin Quarter during a May Day demonstration.

    Benalla was suspended for two weeks. The French president's office later said that it had begun dismissal procedures against Benalla after it transpired that he had illegally obtained “images from a video surveillance system” from three police officers in a bid to clear his name.

    Benalla was fired on Friday and on Sunday he was formally charged with violence, interfering in the exercise of public office and the unauthorized public display of official insignia.

    He is also accused of misappropriating investigation materials.

    Preliminary charges have been brought also against Vincent Crase, who was with Benalla on the day of the protest, and three police officers who were suspected of illegally passing footage from the event to Alexandre Benalla.

    READ MORE: Macron's Bodyguard Forced to Postpone Wedding Amid Violent Assault Charges

    According to an IPSOS poll released on Tuesday, the first since the story emerged, Emmanuel Macron has seen his popularity plummet to 32 percent, down four points since June, his lowest level since September 2017.


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    call, no-confidence vote, scandal, bodyguard, Republicans, La Republique En Marche, Emmanuel Macron, Alexandre Benalla, France
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