The No. 2 official of France's far-right National Front says the party had no choice but to expel its founder, Jean-Marie Le Pen.

Florian Philippot said Friday, a day after the decision, that the 87-year-old Le Pen went "from provocation to provocation" in a "work of destruction."

Le Pen's expulsion Thursday was the climax of a feud with his daughter, party president Marine Le Pen, that turned into a political drama. Polls suggest she has a serious shot at the French presidency in the country's 2017 election.

Philippot's remarks on BFM-TV were his first since the hearing by six members of the party's executive bureau. Neither Marine Le Pen nor Philippot was present. Jean-Marie Le Pen considers both instigators of his expulsion and says he'll contest the decision in court.