June 19, 2017 / 5:20 PM / 2 years ago

Under-fire French minister to resign and lead parliamentary group: source

FILE PHOTO Newly appointed French Territorial cohesion Minister, Richard Ferrand, arrives May 18, 2017 to attend the first cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France. Picture taken May 18, 2017. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - French minister Richard Ferrand, who has been fighting accusations of improper financial dealings during most of his few weeks in office, has agreed to resign from government, a source close to the presidency said on Monday.

Ferrand, who headed the campaign that swept Emmanuel Macron to power in a vote last May 7, is to leave the government to lead Macron’s lawmakers in parliament, the source added.

He was named minister for territorial planning in May, and is a former Socialist who became one of Macron’s key early backers.

He denied any wrongdoing after a public prosecutor opened an investigation.

(This version of the story was refiled to add dropped word from headline)

Reporting by Michel Rose; writing by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Andrew Callus

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