France’s Francois Fillon under fire over women’s rights

Mr Fillon (C) has become the unexpected frontrunner in France's Republican race for the presidential nomination

Mr Fillon (C) has become the unexpected frontrunner in France’s Republican race for the presidential nomination

The leading contender for France’s centre-right presidential nomination, Francois Fillon, is facing tough questions over his stance on abortion and sex discrimination.

His rival, fellow Republican Alain Juppe, has urged him to “clarify his position” on abortion.

Meanwhile, a party colleague restated claims he denied her a ministerial post because she was pregnant.

Supporters will choose between Mr Fillon and Mr Juppe on Sunday.

It is the first time the centre right in France has used a US-style primary contest to select a candidate, ahead of the presidential election in April and May.

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