Rebel French Socialist lawmaker Hamon joins party primary race

Benoit Hamon attends the questions to the government session at the National Assembly in Paris, France, November 10, 2015. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) - Former French education minister Benoit Hamon said on Tuesday he would join the race in the Socialist party’s primaries for next year’s presidential elections, the latest candidate on the party’s left bidding to challenge its pro-business line.

Hamon quit President Francois Hollande’s government in 2014 only three months after becoming education minister over disagreements about the president’s pro-business U-turn. He joins an already crowded field of rebel politicians.

“I believe that the president, because of the disappointment he created in his own camp, can no longer earn the French people’s trust,” Hamon said on France 2 television.

Former French industry minister Arnaud Montebourg, who has been making his ambitions more and more clear in recent months, is also expected to announce this Sunday he plans to run, at an outdoor gathering he holds each year in Burgundy.

Hamon, who entered politics as a student, wants to raise the minimum wage, reduce the 35-hour working week further, and launch a 35 billion-euro stimulus package. Two other members of the party’s left wing have already declared their own bids, Senator Marie-Noelle Lienemann and unionist Gerard Filoche.

Hollande has said he will announce by the end of the year whether he will run again. Although still unpopular, polls show he could win the primary.

Reporting by Michel Rose, editing by Larry King