Marine Le Pen has been accused of using “fake news” during a head-to-head debate with Emmanuel Macron days before the final vote of France’s presidential election, after she alluded to allegations circulating online that her rival has an offshore account in the Bahamas. Mr Macron filed a legal complaint on Thursday, prompting the Paris prosecutor’s office to open a formal investigation into whether falsified documents and false online news were being used to influence voting ahead of Sunday’s second round ballot. The Front National candidate, who has been urged by her father and predecessor as party leader to adopt a “Trump-style” campaign, asked Mr Macron if the online rumours about his personal finances were true during a virulent exchange watched by 15 million people.
The allegations, which appear to have originated on a right-wing website in the US, dominated the penultimate day of what has become an acrimonious election.
Ms Le Pen was met with a hostile reception when she made one of her last campaign stops to the Brittany region. French TV footage appeared to show her being hit with an egg thrown by protesters shouting “out with fascists” as she arrived at a logistics company in Dol-de-Bretagne.