Thirteen senior journalists, including the co-editors in chief, have resigned from the left-wing newspaper Le Matin after the appointment of former government spokesman Max Gallo as chief editorialist.
In a statement published in Le Matin on Monday, the journalists said the appointment would jeopardize the paper’s independence.
Opposition parties have said that Gallo’s arrival was an attempt by the Socialist government to use Le Matin as an electoral tool ahead of parliamentary elections next March.
Gallo and Le Matin’s main owner, left-wing businessman Max Theret, denied that the move threatened editorial independence.
Gallo, 53, a historian and novelist, worked as a columnist for 15 years at the weekly magazine L’Express before going into politics. He was government spokesman from March, 1983, to June, 1984, and is now a Socialist deputy to the European Parliament.