French far-right bars founder Jean-Marie Le Pen on birthday

FILE - In this May 1, 2017 file photo, former far-right National Front party leader Jean-Marie Le Pen clenches his fist at the statue o

PARIS (AP) — France's far-right National Front has refused to let Jean-Marie Le Pen, the party's co-founder, attend a meeting, blocking him at the gate on his 89th birthday.

Le Pen, whose daughter Marine now runs the party, said on Tuesday outside party headquarters that while forced out of the party he had a right to attend because of his status of honorary president for life, confirmed by a court.

Speaking outside the gate, Le Pen noted that he lent the party 9 million euros ($10.04 million) for his daughter's failed presidential race and legislative elections. The loan was from his funding group Cotelec.

With his trademark irony, Le Pen said that his daughter doubtless was offering him a birthday gift "by this particular delicacy of the heart."