Richard Ferrand and François Bayrou, two of the main architects of Emmanuel Macron's victory in 2017, and remained very close to the president, are shaken by their involvement in court cases.
Ironically, the two heavyweights were questioned at the same time on Wednesday in two separate cases. But if Mr Bayrou said he was "very happy" after his hearing before the judicial police, in the matter of allegedly fictitious jobs of assistants of MEPs MoDem, Mr. Ferrand appears in a more delicate situation after his indictment pronounced in the evening for illegal taking of interests.
Until reaching Emmanuel Macron? "At the moment of this procedural act, the President of the Republic retains all his confidence in Richard Ferrand," the head of state's entourage said Friday, according to which it is "neither defensive nor offensive", but " a powerful and sincere feeling towards a man who is going through a judicial moment that we have no way to comment on the substance ".
"What does it change between them? Not much in their relationships, nothing in any case", abounds an intimate of the two. Benjamin Griveaux, one of the first walkers with Mr. Ferrand, admits that "obviously, what happens to Richard must affect the president, since Richard is the first of us, the one who is closest to the president".
Richard Ferrand and François Bayrou, who have contrasting relations between them - the two men almost came to grips with them during the negotiations on the investiture of deputies in 2017 - have in common to be very closely linked to Emmanuel Macron. And to his victorious epic, to the point of appearing as two sides of the same coin in the heart of the Macronist epic.
Incarnations of the "and at the same time" - Mr. Ferrand coming from the ranks of the PS, Mr. Bayrou herald of the center-right -, the two men who politically grew up in "the old world" are considered as the main craftsmen of the victory of 2017.
- Two lookouts -
"Macron has always thought he owes something to Richard, he has an affection, a part of him turned to Richard: there are very few people with whom he has that feeling," says a government tenor.
According to this same source, François Bayrou "the second to whom Emmanuel Macron thinks he owes something", because during the campaign, the two were those who "had a real political culture".
In the entourage of the president, all note their "enormous influence". "Richard Ferrand has always had a lot of weight with the President of the Republic, even if as President of the National Assembly, they are necessarily less," develops a counselor. "And then, it is a little mode: + I told you + Like Bayrou, who pointed this disconnect, too technocratic approach of all subjects" in the first months of the quinquennium, he continues.
During the crisis of "yellow vests", it is again to these two lookouts that the president had turned. In this unprecedented crisis, François Bayrou had been able to hear his recommendations of a social turn of the executive. Richard Ferrand had meanwhile been consulted and associated with all the initiatives to try to bounce back, announcements on December 10 as the wishes of New Year's Eve.
"They have a common vision and Emmanuel Macron is very much in trust with Richard Ferrand," sums up another advisor.
Thursday, faced with the calls of several opposition leaders to the resignation of the President of the National Assembly, the majority was block. Some have pointed out that the strength of support was out of all proportion to that which had been received two months earlier by François de Rugy.
"Richard Ferrand is the one who is closest to the president," recalls Benjamin Griveaux, "in the end, the one who has the absolute confidence, the one that the president listens, it is him".
© 2019 AFP