The government of France has resigned

Édouard Philippe, the prime minister of France, has tendered his government’s resignation.

The Élysée Palace announced that Philippe, an increasingly popular figure during the coronavirus crisis, had submitted the government’s resignation but would remain as head of an interim government until the president, Emmanuel Macron, carried out a reshuffle and named his successor.

It is traditional in France for a President to name a new premier mid-term, although in French government reshuffles, the prime minister tenders their resignation before new cabinet appointments. Phillippe can still be reappointed to the position, although the fact that he was re-elected mayor of Le Havre with a large majority in the recent municipal elections suggests other plans.

The Élysée statement said: “Mr Édouard Philippe has today handed his resignation from the government to the president of the republic who has accepted it. He will remain, with other members of the government, to deal with current matters until the nomination of a new government.”

Phillipe's popularity has grown as Macron’s has slipped, with the latest polls suggesting he has the confidence of up to half of French voters, with the president trailing at between 33% and 39%.

Philippe, 49, was appointed in 2017 after Macron’s presidential election victory. At the time he was a member of the centre-right Les Républicains (LR) party. He left LR but never joined the governing centrist La République En Marche.

Speculation in the corridors of power now is that Phillipe may quickly emerge as a rival to Macron.

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