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France’s Fillon sticks to presidential bid, rejects allegations of wife’s fake job

File photo: French politician Francois Fillon, member of the conservative Les Republicains political party and his wife Penelope attend a final rally ahead of the first round of vote to choose the conservative candidate for France's presidential election

French former prime minister Francois Fillon said on Thursday he would stick to his presidential bid, rejecting press allegations that his wife drew a salary as his assistant but never actually worked.

Fillon, who told TF1 television his two children also did work for him at some point when he was senator, added that his wife Penelope had worked for him since his first election in 1980.

Satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaine reported this week that Penelope Fillon had been paid some €600,000 for many years of employment as a parliamentary assistant to Fillon, then to his replacement as a National Assembly lawmaker and also for work at a cultural journal.

The newspaper said its research had showed there was no evidence she had ever really worked. Fillon said that was not true. His wife, he said, did work that included press reviews, proof-reading his speeches and meeting people for him

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