Sibeth Ndiaye at the exit of the Council of Ministers, June 24, 2020. - Nicolas Messyasz / Sipa

Faithful among the faithful of Emmanuel Macron whom she had accompanied for six years, government spokeswoman Sibeth Ndiaye left politics on Tuesday after having concentrated the criticisms on her blunders, but also, to the excess, on her no one. Passing the baton on Tuesday on the steps of the Hotel Rothelin-Charolais to her young successor Gabriel Attal, she turned, at 40, the page of a long mission with the Head of State, of which she was a protector relentless.

These 15 months in the parolat were not "easy thing, to say the least," she slipped in a smile, ensuring to have "assumed [his] role with sincerity, without deny nothing "of what it is. While those around him assure that she has refused several proposals to become deputy minister, Sibeth Ndiaye simply said that he wanted to "dedicate himself to [his] family, [his] loved ones".

Honored by the confidence of the President and the Prime Minister who entrust me with the Government's spokesperson. Thank you @SibethNdiaye for your commitment. At work !

- Gabriel Attal (@GabrielAttal) July 7, 2020

“I have always considered that in a vibrant democracy, political professionals were not needed, but political professionals. This precept, I apply it to myself today, ”she added.

Very hard knocks to take

The former government spokesman took the hard hit during the health crisis, at the mercy of sometimes untimely statements, sometimes contradictory, but also reflecting the procrastination of the executive and experts.

She had particularly aroused anger by evoking "teachers who do not work" during the epidemic. “People are focusing on it what they have perceived to be a state lie, on masks for example. It’s very unfair but it’s like that, ”summed up a minister. Another member of the government insisted: "I challenge all those who massacre her to speak as often as she does without making any dumplings".

"You made a lightning rod", judge Gabriel Attal

"No doubt certain things could have been done better," she conceded on Tuesday, while pointing out "a truly extraordinary situation and a scientific doctrine which is at least sometimes shifting". "You made a lightning rod for the collective", greeted Gabriel Attal in return, praising the "courage" of Sibeth Ndiaye.

In addition to his blunders, Sibeth Ndiaye, of Senegalese origin, had to counter more personal attacks, on social networks but not only. MEP LR Nadine Morano thus castigated her "nonsense often debited in circus attire" and her alleged "big gaps in French culture".

Faithful among the faithful of Emmanuel Macron

A rough passage in the light therefore, for that which was first and foremost the shadow cast of Emmanuel Macron as press adviser, from the Ministry of the Economy (2014-2016) to the presidential campaign then the Elysée ( 2017-2019).

During this period, she will establish sometimes conflicting relationships with journalists for her eagerness to defend the line and the instructions. "I assume to lie if it is to ensure that the president is quiet," she had launched a day to a reporter just before the second round of the presidential election.

This dedication will earn her a special place with Mr. Macron, to whom she addressed Tuesday a "touched thought for these years of companionship, for the trust and the complicity that marked our relationship".

The departure of this former Strauss-Kahnian, close to Claude Bartolone, also marks the pursuit of the distance from the historic core that surrounded Emmanuel Macron in the conquest of power (Ismaël Emelien, Sylvain Fort, Benjamin Griveaux ...) and whose role with a view to 2022 is still surrounded by uncertainty.


Castex government: Young and loyal to Emmanuel Macron, Gabriel Attal succeeds Sibeth Ndiaye as spokesperson


Castex government: Ministers reappointed, transfers, new ones ... What to remember from this transfer window

  • Emmanuel Macron
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  • Sibeth Ndiaye