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Macron removes French interior minister after police protests

Former budget minister Gerald Darmanin was named to replace Christophe Castaner.

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Ex-French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner (Thibault Camus/AP)

Ex-French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner (Thibault Camus/AP)

Ex-French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner (Thibault Camus/AP)

French President Emmanuel Macron has removed his interior minister as part of a government shake-up on Monday following protests against police brutality.

The reshuffle is aimed at shifting the government’s focus to post-virus economic recovery in the last two years of Mr Macron’s term.

Former budget minister Gerald Darmanin was named to replace Christophe Castaner, who had come under fire amid widespread French protests against racial injustice and police brutality spurred by the death of George Floyd in the United States.

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Protests in France over the death of George Floyd (Thibault Camus/AP)

Protests in France over the death of George Floyd (Thibault Camus/AP)

AP/PA Images

Protests in France over the death of George Floyd (Thibault Camus/AP)

Mr Castaner announced a ban on police chokeholds in response, but then backed down in the face of counter-demonstrations and pressure by police unions.

He also launched an experiment with expanded Taser use.

Mr Macron replaced the ecology minister, a top priority for his presidency, but did not change the finance or health ministers, central to helping France through the virus crisis and recession, or the foreign and defence ministers.

PA