Fillon Spokesman Says Wife Always ‘Accompanied’ His Work

The wife of French presidential front-runner Francois Fillon has always "accompanied" his work in politics, Fillon’s spokesman said, calling an investigation into her salaried work "surrealistic."

Penelope Fillon’s work was mostly representing her husband in his rural constituency in Western France when he was away at the National Assembly in Paris, his spokesman Thierry Solere said on RMC Radio.

"It’s a completely normal practice in French democracy," Solere said.

Paris prosecutors yesterday opened a preliminary probe after Fillon confirmed press reports that Penelope had worked for years as his parliamentary aide. While lawmakers hiring relatives isn’t illegal in France, press reports have raised questions whether she actually worked for her salary.

Solere said there’s something "fishy" that her salaried position emerged as an issue 90 days before France’s presidential election.

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