French interior minister resigns over daughters' job

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In an affair similar to the one affecting the Conservative presidential candidate Francois Fillon, French Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux has resigned over a "fake jobs" row involving work he gave his two daughters when they were teenagers.

"My daughters have worked for me. notably during school holidays, but never on a permanent basis", Le Roux was quoted as saying by Quotidien TV show.

The violations were committed between 2009 and 2016, when Le Roux was a member of the French national assembly.

French lawmakers are allowed to hire family members as aides, provided they do tangible work.

"I affirm my honesty in my human relations as well as my political actions, but my responsibility is also to preserve the government's ability to function", he said in explaining his decision to resign.

"An inquiry has been opened into the employment of Bruno Le Roux's daughters", says Mediapart. They were reportedly paid a total of €55,000 ($60,000).

The sums involved in Le Roux's case are considerably less than hundreds of thousands of euros that Fillon, who has denied wrongdoing, is alleged to have paid his British-born wife Penelope and children over more than a decade.

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Le Roux told the broadcaster that the contracts in question were ordinary summer jobs, rejecting any comparison with Fillon's legal woes. Far-right leader Marine Le Pen and centrist Emmanuel Macron are the two leading candidates in the election, according to opinion polls, with the first round due on April 23 and the run-off on May 7.

In a brief statement on Tuesday evening, Le Roux insisted he had done nothing wrong.

Fekl has been serving as junior minister for trade and promoting tourism to France.

For the 2009-2016 period, the minister's daughters had received 55,000 euros (59,438 US dollars) for their work as their father's aides.

Le Roux, 51, was appointed interior minister last December, after Hollande reshuffled his government following Manuel Valls's resignation as prime minister to concentrate on his presidential campaign, which ended in a primary vote defeat in January to Benoît Hamon.

Politicians employing family members has become a hot-button issue in the French presidential election.