Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy leaves a Paris restaurant last Friday, the day he announced on his Facebook page that he is a candidate for the leadership of the conservative UMP party, which will elect its new president on November 29th. Photograph: Reuters/Charles Platiau

When the former French president Nicolas Sarkozy was defeated by François Hollande on May 6th, 2012, he promised to leave French political life. In(...)

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has announced his return to politics, saying ‘I am a candidate for the presidency of my political family’. Photograph: Eric Gaillard/Reuters

France’s former president Nicolas Sarkozy announced his return to politics on Friday, declaring he would seek the leadership of the opposition UMP par(...)

French president François Hollande during  a news conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris where he outlined plans for the rest of his five-year term. Photograph: Christian Hartmann/Reuters

President François Hollande yesterday attributed the strength of the pro-independence movement in Scotland to the failings of the European Union. “Eur(...)

French prime minister Manuel Valls addresses  the National Assembly in Paris yesterday. Photograph: Ian Langsdon/PA

Prime minister Manuel Valls survived a confidence vote in the National Assembly yesterday by 269 votes for his government, compared to 244 votes again(...)

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy: Under French law, he can be detained for 48 hours. Photograph: EPA/Ian Langsdon

Nicolas Sarkozy yesterday became the first former president in the history of France to be detained for questioning, in an investigation into alleged (...)

A police car passes in front of the headquarters of France’s centre-right UMP political party in Paris.  Photograph: Charles Platiau

The implosion of French political life precipitated by the victory of the far right-wing National Front (FN) in Sunday’s European elections continued (...)

Marine Le Pen, France’s National Front political party leader, reacts to results after the polls closed in the European Parliament elections.  Photograph: Remy de la Mauviniere/AP

National Front (FN) leader Marine Le Pen inherited her father Jean-Marie’s self-assurance, deep voice, and the way he throws back his head and guffaws(...)

Marine Le Pen, France’s National Front political party head, reacts to results after the polls closed in the European Parliament elections at the party’s headquarters in Nanterre, near Paris.  Photograph: Christian Hartmann/Reuters 1:19

The extreme right-wing, europhobic National Front (FN) won the European elections in France with an estimated 25.4 per cent of the vote, according to (...)

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy reacts as he arrives in the tribune for Paris St Germain’s French Ligue 1 soccer match against Stade Rennes’ at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris earlier this month. Photograph: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters

Ex-French president Nicolas Sarkozy weighed into the European Parliament election campaign today, calling for tighter controls on immigration and a t(...)

If Marine Le Pen leads her National Front party to victory, she improves her chances of making it to the 2017 presidential run-off. Photograph: Reuters

France will elect 74 MEPs on Sunday week. The government has not organised a civic information campaign, as it usually does for elections. Nearly two-(...)