The French far-right journalist and commentator Éric Zemmour has stepped down from his nightly TV present, heightening hypothesis that he might make an outsider bid to run in subsequent yr’s French presidential election.The 63-year-old, who was a political journalist for Le Figaro, holds convictions for inciting hatred and is greatest identified for his TV diatribes in opposition to immigration and Islam.After posters saying “Zemmour president” went up in elements of Paris earlier this summer time, his supporters have been reported to be elevating funds for a possible marketing campaign. Zemmour begins a ebook tour this week on which he’ll meet followers at giant venues and walkabouts, though he has but to announce a bid for the presidency.The French CSA media regulator has determined to class Zemmour as a politician slightly than a journalist. This meant that on Monday, the rolling information TV channel CNews had little selection however to quickly halt Zemmour’s standard nightly appearances. French regulation states that there have to be a good stability in airtime between political candidates and events.Described by critics as making the far-right, anti-immigration Marine Le Pen look delicate, Zemmour has been attacked by rights teams, who say he incites racial hatred. He has been referred to as a “prophet of pessimism” and a “salesman of the apocalypse” and his finger-jabbing oration is peppered with historic references to Napoleon and Joan of Arc.Over the previous decade, Zemmour has persistently topped bestseller lists with books warning that France will “disappear” or grow to be an “Islamic republic” inside a century if it doesn’t crack down on immigration. In his new ebook out this week, he attracts a parallel between himself and Donald Trump – as a TV persona taking up the political class.Whereas polls at present recommend that the centrist president Emmanuel Macron and the far-right Marine Le Pen might attain the ultimate spherical of the presidential race in April 2022, key events haven’t but selected candidates and the race is not possible to foretell.In TV appearances this weekend, Zemmour mentioned he was mulling over whether or not to run for president, “as a result of I feel France is in a fully lamentable state and the France that I like is disappearing”.Zemmour, the Paris-born son of Jewish Berbers who emigrated from Algeria within the Fifties, mentioned he would ban households from giving kids non-French first names. This meant individuals might not name their sons Mohammed “however might use it as a center title”.The French musician Jean-Michel Jarre, seated at a chat-show desk with Zemmour on Saturday night time, criticised the advised regulation on first names, saying it might be flawed and ridiculous. Jarre cited the UK as a constructive instance of a European nation the place many kids have been referred to as Mohammed. Zemmour shot again that the UK’s vote for Brexit had proven how working-class British individuals “can’t stand immigration”.Zemmour additionally mentioned the multi-racial Seine-Saint-Denis space north of Paris was “not France” and had so many individuals of Arab and African descent that it’s “one other continent”.The Socialist get together head of the Seine-Saint-Denis département issued an announcement on Zemmour saying: “His solely venture is to divide French individuals and fracture society.”Zemmour is is at present polling at 7%-8%, too low to make the second spherical. However he has risen from 5%, and is seen as consuming into scores for each Le Pen and Nicolas Sarkozy’s conventional rightwing get together, whereas setting the tone for a divisive presidential debate on immigration and identification.Zemmour’s convictions embrace a 2010 sentence for incitement to racial hatred after telling a TV chatshow that drug sellers have been principally “blacks and Arabs”. Final week, he efficiently overturned on attraction a conviction for incitement to hatred over a speech about Islam and immigration that he made in Paris in 2019. A separate hate trial associated to remarks he made about unaccompanied youngster migrants on TV final September has been postponed.Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the leftist presidential candidate, mentioned Zemmour was succeeding in “contaminating” public debate and making the far-right Le Pen look “nearly harmless – which she is going to by no means be”.