Francois Fillon placed under formal investigation over 'fake jobs' scandal

Independent centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron talks to the media as he visits the Moliere school in Les Mureaux west of Paris Tuesday

Independent centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron talks to the media as he visits the Moliere school in Les Mureaux west of Paris Tuesday

Mr Fillon attempted to draw a line under corruption allegations this week, and focus on his programme, which he detailed on Monday.

Marie Fillon transferred some 70 per cent of around 46,000 euros back to her parents, which her lawyer Kiril Bougartchev claims is perfectly reasonable.

A top contender in a French presidential election never has reached such a critical step in a criminal investigation, yet Fillon has vowed to keep campaigning less than six weeks before the contest's first round.

The judges' decision confirms the worst-case scenario for Fillon, who's already promised to stay in the race whatever happens and faced down a rebellion of party officials seeking his ouster. Politically, the conservative candidate intends to keep campaigning.

The allegations over the allegedly illusory jobs have been particularly damaging to his campaign because Fillon used to tout his reputation for probity.

Mr Fillon has said that magistrates are likely to put him officially under investigation on counts of suspected misuse of public funds. Fillon does not deny that he gave his wife and children taxpayer-funded jobs as parliamentary aides, but says the work they did was legitimate.

Hamon, 49, was charged previous year with making public insults for calling Nicolas Miguet, a little-known presidential candidate who was fined for conflict of interest in a business deal, a "crook".

Parliament's ethics chief has also revealed it is to open an inquiry into how he came to accept a gift of two bespoke suits worth £11,380 last month, in the latest twist in the tale.

This SNL Perfume Commercial Parody is a Damning Critique of Ivanka Trump
During the narration, Johansson is applying a lipstick and there is a reflect of Alec Baldwin's Donald Trump mimicking the scene. Poking fun at her feminist credentials, the advert does not hold back at laying into Ivanka. "Oh, how we see her".

They tweeted a caricature of his main rival-centrist Emmanuel Macron-that Fillon himself said appeared anti-Semitic.

But it's not all rosy.

The national financial prosecutor's office said investigating judges filed the charges Tuesday.

The glitzy event at the CES electronics fair was organized without a public tender by a unit within the economy ministry, which was then headed by Macron.

France's presidential election is organized in two rounds.

According to the survey, far-right National Front party leader Marine Le Pen still holds leading positions in the first round of the presidential race, with voting intention figures amounting to 27 percent.

In the latest poll, Le Pen would garner 39.5 percent of the vote in a second round, versus 60.5 percent for Macron.