The Latest: Polish officials reject Macron's comments

The Latest on the French presidential election (all times local):

11:30 a.m.

Polish officials have dismissed as "populist" recent comments by French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron who said he will press for European Union sanctions on Warsaw if he is president.

Macron spoke with French regional daily "La Voix du Nord" after visiting a house appliances factory that is scheduled to move to Poland, where labor costs are cheaper.

He said he would take action on Poland, saying it infringes fundamental EU values and uses fiscal differences to its favor.

Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Konrad Szymanski said Friday Macron's words were "pure populism" and violated the EU's idea of a common market.

Government spokesman Rafal Bochenek said Poland objects to being used in France's campaign ahead of the May 7 runoff between Macron and far-right Marine Le Pen


9:30 a.m.

French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen's far-right party is in new turmoil — its temporary leader is stepping down over allegations he expressed doubt about Nazi gas chambers.

National Front vice president Louis Aliot said on BFM television Friday that interim party leader Jean-Francois Jalkh is leaving his post because of comments reported in a 2000 interview.

Jalkh took over this week after Le Pen said she would step aside to concentrate on her campaign.

Aliot said that Jalkh is contesting allegations of Holocaust denial, a crime in France.

Le Pen has worked hard to detoxify the party, tainted by racism and anti-Semitism in the past. She faces centrist Emmanuel Macron in a highly charged presidential runoff May 7.

Macron is visiting the site of a Nazi massacre later Friday.