France’s Marine Le Pen in row with Lebanon because she refused to wear headscarf

Anti-gay marriage Front National leader Marine Le Pen has been forced to cancel a meeting with an influential religious leader in Lebanon after she refused to wear a headscarf.

The far-right leader, who has praised Donald Trump and Brexit, was to meet the country’s Grand Mufti on Tuesday but refused to cover her head for the event.

The MEP, an opponent of LGBT rights, is currently on a two-day visit to Lebanon where she is courting votes from those with dual nationality ahead of the first round of the Presidential election in April.

In a discussion with reporters, Ms Le Pen said she had met the Grand Mufti before [in Egypt in 2015] and not covered her head.

“I met the grand mufti of Al-Azhar,” she said.

“The highest Sunni authority didn’t have this requirement, but it doesn’t matter.

“You can pass on my respects to the Grand Mufti, but I will not cover myself up.”

As an outspoken critic of the hijab, the 48-year-old has supported calls to have them banned in public places in France.

She has previously said she would ban all religious symbols in public.

She is currently embroiled in an investigation over misuse of EU funds.

Last week, Ms Le Pen signalled she would repeal same-sex marriage in France if she was elected President.

She is currently favourite to progress to the second round of the vote.

One of her rivals, Emmanuel Macron has laughed off claims that he was “secretly gay”.