A French appeals court has upheld the far-right National Front's decision to expel party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen over anti-Semitic remarks.

The decision Friday by the court in Versailles is a stinging defeat for the man who for decades embodied France's anti-immigrant far right. It's a victory for his daughter and rival Marine Le Pen, party president and runnerup in last year's French presidential election.

Jean-Marie Le Pen sued the National Front for expelling him in 2015, but a lower court in 2016 confirmed the party's decision. Controversial father and ambitious daughter are in a long-running power struggle over the party's identity.

The court also confirmed a lower court ruling that the 89-year-old Le Pen can retain the symbolic status of party president for life. However, the party may eliminate the position next month.