French junior minister resigns to join Hamon presidential campaign

French minister of state for digital sector and innovation Axelle Lemaire attends the questions to the government session at the National Assembly in Paris

PARIS (Reuters) – A junior minister resigned from France’s Socialist government on Monday to join the presidential campaign of leftist Benoit Hamon, she said in a newspaper interview.

Axelle Lemaire, state secretary for digital affaires and innovation, told daily Liberation she wanted to help Hamon run for the April-May election as well as prepare her own campaign for parliamentary elections in June.

“I think I have fulfilled my mission in the government, I will be more useful outside than inside,” she said.

Lemaire, who joined the government in 2014, will work on digital innovation in Hamon’s team.

Former Socialist education minister Vincent Peillon and former industry minister Arnaud Montebourg – who both lost out to Hamon in the party’s primaries early this year – are also supporting his campaign.

(Reporting by Chine Labbe; Writing by Geert De Clercq)