Caroline Cayeux quits French government over spat about personal wealth

Weekly cabinet meeting after a government reshuffle at the Elysee Palace in Paris

PARIS (Reuters) -France’s minister for territorial cohesion, Caroline Cayeux, said on Monday she had resigned from the government after a public watchdog said she had under-reported her personal wealth in official declarations.

In a statement, Cayeux said the watchdog for public transparency told her that a declaration she gave about her wealth was “under-valued.” Cayeux said the watchdog also questioned an updated declaration she submitted.

“Given this context, I felt it was preferable for me to resign in order that this would not undermine the government,” she added.

Earlier, French President Emmanuel Macron’s Elysee office confirmed Cayeux’s resignation without giving a reason. It said she would be replaced in her role by Dominique Faure.

Earlier this year, Cayeux had to apologise after facing criticism over comments which more than 100 French public figures had said were homophobic.

Cayeux, appointed minister for territorial cohesion in the new French government formed on July 4, was asked by the Senate that month whether she maintained her opposition to a 2013 law allowing same-sex couples to marry and to adopt children.

At that time, she called the reform a “caprice” and a “plan that goes against nature”. Cayeux initially stood by what she said, adding: “I have a lot of friends among those people.” Two days later she apologised for her remarks.

(Reporting by Blandine Henault, Nicolas Delame and Sudip Kar-Gupta;Editing by Ingrid Melander, Gareth Jones and Frank Jack Daniel)

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