French leader Macron is slapped during visit to small town

French President Emmanuel Macron

Emmanuel Macron has been slapped across the face during a walkabout to greet voters in southern France.

The man reportedly shouted "Down with Macron-ism" as he slapped the president.

French president bodyguards come pull Macron away.

French news broadcaster BFMTV said police detained two people - the man suspected of slapping Macron and another man who filmed a video.

French President Emmanuel Macron has been slapped in the face by a man during a visit to a small town in southeast France.

The identify of the man who attacked Macron, and his motives, were unclear.

Former President Francois Hollande of the Socialist Party tweeted that the slap was an "unbearable and intolerable blow against our institutions.The entire nation must show solidarity with the head of state".

Prime Minister Jean Castex called for a "Republican awakening, adding: "Democracy is debate, dialogue, expressing legitimate disagreements, but it can not in any way be violence, verbal aggression or physical aggression".

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In a video circulating on social media, Mr Macron is seen walking up to a barrier on a trip to Tain-l'Hermitage outside the city of Valence.

'He was outside a catering school when he stuck his right hand towards a man who promptly grabbed it.

He then leans in and touches the arm of a man in a green shirt, before the man winds up and slaps Macron across the face, drawing a loud "oh!" from another onlooker. The man was swiftly swarmed by security.

French media later described the attacker as an "anarchist". "We have no further comments at this point".

"The benefit of all this is that it puts an end to violent and hatred".

"Although democratic debate can be bitter, it can by no means tolerate physical violence. Saint-Denis!" - which was used as a medieval battle cry used by the Capetian royal dynasty, which ruled France from the 10th to the 18th century.

Politicians from across the political spectrum condemned the physical attack and denounced a political context of mounting verbal violence.

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