French Defence Minister Le Drian to back Macron in presidential election: paper

PARIS French defense minister Jean-Yves Le Drian will announce his support for centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron later on Thursday, regional newspaper Ouest-France reported.

The paper said Le Drian, a member of the current Socialist government, would explain his decision at a meeting of the regional Brittany assembly later in the day.

Le Drian is considered as one of the more popular members of President Francois Hollande’s cabinet and a respected voice in security matters and foreign affairs, and his support for the 39-year old former economy minister would give Macron more weight in those particular areas.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Michel Rose)