French conservatives back embattled Fillon

Francois Fillon speaks during a debate at the French Confederation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (CPME) union's headquarters in Puteaux on 6 March, 2017. Image copyright AFP

Leaders of the French centre-right have unanimously backed embattled presidential candidate Francois Fillon after an emergency meeting.

Mr Fillon, once the front-runner, has lost much of his support after being told he faces formal investigation for embezzlement.

He denies the charges and has refused to step aside.

The leader of Mr Fillon’s Republican party, Bernard Accoyer, said the party was re-launching Mr Fillon’s campaign.

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