DIANA Mosley, whose friendship with Hitler led to her disgrace and imprisonment in Holloway Prison in 1940, has surprisingly joined the growing criticism of Jean-Marie Le Pen, the leader of France’s National Front party.
In her first interview since Le Pen’s poll success, she told The Scotsman the far Right politician was "just a crusty, old, Eurosceptic, Tory backbencher".
Mosley, 91, claimed Le Pen’s anti-European stance ran contrary to the beliefs she shared with her late husband, Sir Oswald Mosley, the founder of the British Union of Fascists.
Le Pen’s unexpected success in last Sunday’s French election has assured his place in the electoral run-off with President Jacques Chirac. Mosley, who has lived in exile in Paris since she was released from prison, remains unimpressed.
She said: "He is everything I most dislike. In all essentials, and in particular with respect to Europe, his views are the opposite of mine. [My husband] was a dedicated European and could never have got together with Le Pen."
Tony Blair yesterday called on voters across Europe to reject the "repellent" policies represented by Mr Le Pen .
In Brussels, Mr Le Pen was jeered as he tried to speak in a debate on the Middle East in the European Parliament, where MEPs held up banners bearing the word "Non" as he got up to speak. A planned press conference was later cancelled as politicians crowded into the venue to protest about his presence.
In the four years before the Second World War, Mosley became a close friend of Hitler, visiting him often. She and Mosley were married in 1936 in the drawing room of Josef Goebbels’s home.
According to Mosley, Hitler was far more charismatic than his modern, French counterpart. "All of Germany was in love with Hitler," she said, adding, in contrast: "I am sure [Le Pen] has very little of the power to charm."
Mr Le Pen and Mosley, however, share similar views on race. When she was arrested in 1940, Mosley admitted "I am not fond of the Jews."
Mosley was jailed on the orders of Winston Churchill, Britain’s war-time prime minister, and deemed a risk to national security.