Nicolas Sarkozy: he said prime minister Manuel Valls comparison of  France to the former apartheid regime in South Africa was “a moral error”. Photograph: Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images

The “sacred union” forged by president François Hollande during three days of Islamist violence that killed 17 people this month has ended.Hollande te(...)

Riot officers patrol in Longpont, north of Paris. The suspects were were identified by a petrol station attendant in the town of Villers-Cotterets, 70km northeast of the French capital. Photograph: Thibault Camus/AP

All France became Charlie Hebdo on Thursday. As one commentator put it, the extremists who attacked the satirical magazine on Wednesday murdered 12 pe(...)

French president François Hollande (right) shakes hands with former president Nicolas Sarkozy at the Élysee Palace in Paris. Photograph: Ian Langsdon/EPA

French president François Hollande appealed for national unity in the wake of Wednesday’s attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine, and so far the politica(...)

The police station in Joué-les-Tours, where French police shot dead a man who attacked them with a knife. Photograph:AFP/Getty Images.

A man armed with a knife has attacked a police officer and been killed by an officer in a suburb of Tours, a city in central France. A statement by th(...)

The return of Nicolas Sarkozy

The predicament of the French right is not unlike that of the US Republican Party. Choosing someone to lead the party to electoral victory requires pa(...)

Members of parliament applaud after the vote in the French National Assembly on Tuesday in favour of recognition of a Palestinian state. Photograph: Etienne Laurent/EPA

French lawmakers have urged their government to recognise Palestine, a symbolic move that will not immediately affect France’s diplomatic stance but d(...)

Marine Le Pen, France’s National Front  leader, delivers a speech at their congress in Lyon. Ms Le Pen, the sole candidate, won 100 per cent of the vote. Photograph: Robert Pratta/Reuters

Two leading contenders for the presidency of France have been elected to head their respective political parties. Former president Nicolas Sarkozy won(...)

 Nicolas Sarkozy with Rachida Dati at the Élysée Palace in Paris in 2007. Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

Like her political mentor Nicolas Sarkozy, Rachida Dati is a tough survivor with a chip on her shoulder, a fighter whose scrappiness sometimes work(...)

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy: his most faithful lieutenants have disavowed his stand on gay marriage. Photograph: Yoan Valat/EPA

Nicolas Sarkozy needs a dictator’s score in the November 29th election for the leadership of the conservative UMP – something like 80 per cent – if h(...)

 Alain Juppé after an extraordinary meeting of the opposition UMP last year. The party’s nominee – likely Juppé, Nicolas Sarkozy or François Fillon – is almost certain to win the presidency in 2017. Photograph: Getty Images

France’s main opposition party, the conservative UMP, is €74 million in debt. Investigating magistrates searched its offices on October 29th for evide(...)