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Last Updated: Friday, 29 June 2007, 18:05 GMT 19:05 UK
Insult humbles French politician
Patrick Devedjian
Mr Devedjian is assistant secretary-general of the UMP
A row has erupted in France after a senior leader of the governing UMP party was caught on camera calling a female political opponent a "bitch".

"This is no way to talk about a woman or anyone else," said President Nicolas Sarkozy. The condemnation was echoed by female Justice Minister Rachida Dati.

The politician, Patrick Devedjian, made the remark while congratulating a party colleague for ousting the woman MP.

He has since said he "regretted his inappropriate interjection".

Mr Devedjian added that he had called the woman, centrist former MP Anne-Marie Comparini, to apologise.

The insult was filmed by a television company in Lyon, in the aftermath of this month's general election.

Mr Devedjian is seen congratulating Ms Comparini's UMP opponent, and adding: "That bitch!" - "salope" in French.

The footage quickly found its way onto the internet.

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