France's far-right National Front is holding a party congress in Lille over the weekend, with leader Marine Le Pen expected to reveal the party's new name.

Marine Le Pen, France's far-right National Front (FN) political party leader, speaks during a rally in Laon, France, February 18, 2018. Picture taken on February 18, 2018.
Marine Le Pen, France's far-right National Front (FN) political party leader, speaks during a rally in Laon, France, February 18, 2018. Picture taken on February 18, 2018. (Reuters)

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen is set to propose a name change for the National Front, part of a makeover designed to make the anti-immigration party relevant again after she was defeated by Emmanuel Macron in the presidential race.

Le Pen is expected to make the proposal at a party congress in Lille on Sunday and members will vote on it by mail ballot. A new leadership structure and new bylaws are also being unveiled at the two-day congress.

The congress would mark a significant break with Le Pen's father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who founded the National Front in 1972 and has called a name change a "betrayal."

A younger leadership circle will likely emerge, but Marine Le Pen, the only candidate for president, will remain.

Bannon to address party

Former White House strategist Steve Bannon, a champion of Donald Trump's "America First" agenda, will address the National Front's party congress on Saturday, a senior official of the French anti-immigrant party said.

Bannon, an American nationalist who ran the right-wing Breitbart News, was among Trump's closest aides during the 2016 US election campaign, the presidential transition and his first months in office.

But the pair had a bitter public falling out and Bannon was fired by the White House last August, though he continued to speak with Trump and tried to promote the president's agenda.

National Front leader Marine Le Pen will meet Bannon at her party's convention in the French city of Lille on Saturday, her partner Louis Aliot said in a tweet.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies