David Cameron has won praise from the new leader of France’s far-right National Front for his criticism of multi-culturalism.
The Prime Minister angered Muslim groups at the weekend with a speech in which he said multi-culturalism had been a failure.
He called for a new “muscular liberalism” that took a tougher line in promoting British values and a national identity. A policy of “passive tolerance” had only served to encourage Islamist extremism, he argued.
Marine Le Pen, who was elected to lead the National Front last month, said his speech showed that he was taking the Tories towards the traditional positions of the National Front.
“It is exactly this type of statement that has barred us from public life for 30 years,” she said in an interview with the Financial Times.
“I sense an evolution at European level, even in classic governments. I can only congratulate him.”
A Tory spokesman told the paper Ms Le Pen – daughter of the former National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Pen – had “clearly failed to understand the Prime Minister’s speech”.