French MPs reject far right's proposal to reintroduce school uniforms


France’s lower assembly has rejected a bill brought by the far-right National Rally to bring back a form of uniform in French schools, despite the backing of first lady and former teacher Brigitte Macron.

French lawmakers on Thursday rejected a proposal by the far-right National Rally (RN) to make uniforms compulsory in France’s public schools and colleges.

Marine Le Pen, leader of the 88-member RN group in the National Assembly, pleaded in favour of uniform as a way of resolving two difficulties – “the competition between brands and pressure of Islamists on schoolchildren”.

The right-wing Republicans group, which has tabled similar bills in the past, was the only other group to support the text.

"It doesn't matter where the ideas come from, only the general interest must prevail," said MP Maxime Minot.

But a majority of the 577 MPs rejected the proposal.

The need for nuance

While some MPs from Macron’s Renaissance party are open to school uniform, the presidential camp spoke out against a text which had been drafted without "serious work on its impact".

"The subject deserves nuance," MP Sylvain Maillard told French media, adding that a working group within Renaissance was set to debate it.

The left strongly opposed the measure.

"Leave young people alone, they already have enough problems, they don't need the stupidity of the RN," said Louis Boyard, an MP with the hard-left France Unbowed (LFI) party.

They're still worn in some military academies and private schools.

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