French far-right MP temporarily suspended for shouting "Go back to Africa"

Debate at the National Assembly in Paris

PARIS (Reuters) - The French National Assembly on Friday sanctioned a far-right National Rally MP by temporarily banning him from the institution and cutting his pay for shouting "Go back to Africa" as a Black MP spoke during a parliamentary session.

The sanction, the parliament's toughest, means Gregoire de Fournas, a member of Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally, will be deprived of half of his compensation during two months and banned from attending parliamentary sessions for 15 days.

"We must not fragilise our democracy", said National Assembly President Yael Braun-Pivet after she ordered the lawmaker to leave the premises of the parliament.

Le Pen and her party rejected accusations of racism and instead accused their opponents of misrepresenting what de Fournas had said.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Pineau; writing by Tassilo Hummel, editing by Ingrid Melander)