France: following defections, Emmanuel Macron loses his parliamentary majority

Following the latest in a series of defections by his deputies, French President Emmanuel Macron has lost his parliamentary majority. Seven MPs left his party on Tuesday, and have joined an independent group of former greens and socialists, Ecology Democracy Solidarity.

The defections mean that Macron's party is now one short of the 289 required for a majority in the National Assembly, a majority he has held since 2017.

The parliamentarians accuse the president of breaking a number of promises, and of moving away from the political centre ground and running what has effectively become a conservative government.

Bruno Le Maire, the French finance minister, said: "I regret that some people want to reopen the left-right divisions that we and the French people wanted to put behind us in 2017."

However, the defection of the MPs is unlikely to hamper the passing of key legislation, as Macron can continue to rely on the support of smaller parties.

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