World

Founder of France's rising far-right National Front calls prospect of name change 'ridiculous'

  • FILE - In this Sunday Nov. 30 2014, file photo, French far-right Front National leader Marine Le Pen is kissed by her father Jean-Marie Le Pen after being re-elected as president of the party during the 15th congress of the party, in Lyon, central France.  The 86-year old Jean-Marie Le Pen, now honorary president of the party led by his daughter Marine Le Pen, displays a unified front for the party, but Jean-Marie Le Pen is rankled over the prospect that the party may change its name and other issues need settling before Maine can aim for her dream job as president of France in 2017. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani, File)

    FILE - In this Sunday Nov. 30 2014, file photo, French far-right Front National leader Marine Le Pen is kissed by her father Jean-Marie Le Pen after being re-elected as president of the party during the 15th congress of the party, in Lyon, central France. The 86-year old Jean-Marie Le Pen, now honorary president of the party led by his daughter Marine Le Pen, displays a unified front for the party, but Jean-Marie Le Pen is rankled over the prospect that the party may change its name and other issues need settling before Maine can aim for her dream job as president of France in 2017. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014 French far-right Front National former leader Jean-Marie Le Pen delivers a speech during the 15th congress of the party, in Lyon, central France.  The 86-year old Jean-Marie Le Pen, now honorary president of the party led by his daughter Marine Le Pen, displays a unified front for the party, but Jean-Marie Le Pen is rankled over the prospect that the party may change its name and other issues need settling before Maine can aim for her dream job as president of France in 2017.  (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani, FILE)

    FILE - In this Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014 French far-right Front National former leader Jean-Marie Le Pen delivers a speech during the 15th congress of the party, in Lyon, central France. The 86-year old Jean-Marie Le Pen, now honorary president of the party led by his daughter Marine Le Pen, displays a unified front for the party, but Jean-Marie Le Pen is rankled over the prospect that the party may change its name and other issues need settling before Maine can aim for her dream job as president of France in 2017. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani, FILE)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Sunday Nov. 30 2014, file photo, French far-right Front National leader Marine Le Pen is kissed by her father Jean-Marie Le Pen after being re-elected as president of the party during the 15th congress of the party, in Lyon, central France.  The 86-year old Jean-Marie Le Pen, now honorary president of the party led by his daughter Marine Le Pen, displays a unified front for the party, but Jean-Marie Le Pen is rankled over the prospect that the party may change its name and other issues need settling before Maine can aim for her dream job as president of France in 2017. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani, File)

    FILE - In this Sunday Nov. 30 2014, file photo, French far-right Front National leader Marine Le Pen is kissed by her father Jean-Marie Le Pen after being re-elected as president of the party during the 15th congress of the party, in Lyon, central France. The 86-year old Jean-Marie Le Pen, now honorary president of the party led by his daughter Marine Le Pen, displays a unified front for the party, but Jean-Marie Le Pen is rankled over the prospect that the party may change its name and other issues need settling before Maine can aim for her dream job as president of France in 2017. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani, File)  (The Associated Press)

The founder of France's far-right National Front, Jean-Marie Le Pen, is rankled over the prospect that the party — a rising political force — could change its name. He dismisses the idea as "ridiculous."

Le Pen, 86, now honorary president of the party led by daughter Marine Le Pen, told The Associated Press this week that he was "obviously very hostile" to any move to change the name of the anti-immigration party founded in 1972.

The party showed a unified front at its weekend congress as Marine Le Pen aims for her dream job — president of France in 2017. But a number of issues, including an eventual name-change, have proved divisive — even if father Le Pen insists there are no fractures.