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Xavier Bertrand and Laurent Wauquiez in Paris, November 15, 2010. – Photo credits: BERTRAND GUAY/AFP

THE POLITICAL SCAN – The president of the Hauts-de-France region announced on Monday evening on France 2 that he was going to resign from Vaugirard's party. His militant commitment to the right had begun with the RPR when he was sixteen years old.

The love will have lasted 35 years. The president of the Hauts-de-France region, Xavier Bertrand, announced this Monday evening on France 2 that he was going to leave the Republicans following the election of Laurent Wauquiez as party leader. This decision puts an end to more than three decades of active militancy and commitment, since the northerner had taken his RPR card from the age of sixteen, in 1981, before continuing the adventure with the UMP in 2002, then LR in August 2014.

Despite a first defeat during the 1989 municipal elections in Saint-Quentin (Aisne), Xavier Bertrand worked to establish himself locally, and he became deputy mayor in 1995 before being elected deputy for the department in 2002. In parallel with his successes electoral, this professional insurer is experiencing a meteoric partisan rise within the right. In 2003, when Alain Juppé chaired the UMP, he was responsible for teaching pension reform via a "tour of France".

He became general secretary of the UMP in 2009.

A year later, in 2004, Xavier Bertrand was rewarded by Jacques Chirac and Jean-Pierre Raffarin, who appointed him Secretary of State for Health Insurance – under the supervision of the Minister for Solidarity, Health and Family , Philippe Douste-Blazy. Appreciated by the executive, he took advantage of the 2005 reshuffle which saw Dominique de Villepin arrive at Matignon to replace his supervising minister and in turn become Minister of Health and Solidarity.

Nicolas Sarkozy's support for the 2007 presidential election, he was named the candidate's spokesperson and chose to leave the government to become fully involved in the campaign. A winning bet, which will earn him the appointment of Minister of Labor after the victory of his champion. At the end of 2008, the promotion of Patrick Devedjian to the Ministry of Recovery forced him to take over the presidency of the UMP, then to take the helm in January 2009 – date on which he left the government and returned to the post. 'Assembly.

Candidate for the primary… Before giving up

Nearly two years later, in November 2010, he finally returned to the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Health during a reshuffle, and he therefore left the general secretariat of the UMP. He then plans to take over as head of Vaugirard's party in September 2012, since he claims at the time to have gathered the necessary sponsorship to present himself as a candidate for the presidency of the party... But he finally gives up on getting into the race.

Deputy-mayor of Saint-Quentin (Aisne), he announced in 2015 his intention to lead the UMP list for the regional elections in Hauts-de-France, and he formalized his candidacy for the primary of the right scheduled for November 2016. But his victory in the December 2015 election, obtained against Marine Le Pen thanks in particular to the withdrawal from the socialist list, convinced him to give up his municipal and parliamentary mandates, as well as his ambitions for the presidential election.

Wauquiez's report to Macron ends up convincing him

Allied with François Fillon – for whom he discreetly voted in the two rounds of the primary -, Xavier Bertrand broke with the LR candidate from the start of 2017, when Le Canard enchaîné reveals the affair of the presumed fictitious jobs of his relatives. From this date, the president of Hauts-de-France enters an extremely critical period vis-à-vis his camp, of which he denounces the determination to support the former elected official of Sarthe rather than to choose a plan B for the presidential election.

Benevolent towards Emmanuel Macron, whose qualities he publicly praises, Xavier Bertrand nevertheless asserts in May, in the columns of the Figaro , that he “answered no to joining” the new head of state. At this time, however, he let it be known that he had stopped paying his dues to LR since the party preferred to call for a vote against Marine Le Pen than for the candidate of En Marche!. A supposed radicalization which, according to him, translates into the coronation of Laurent Wauquiez… And from which he wants to stay away.

Source: Leaving LR, Xavier Bertrand puts an end to a story that dates back more than 35 years

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