Marine Le Pen is aiming to run in France's 2017 presidential election
Paris - AFP
French far-right leader Marine Le Pen on Thursday withdrew a photograph of the decapitated body of US journalist James Foley from her Twitter account after his parents accused her of using it for political gain.
"I did not know it was a photograph of James Foley. It can be accessed by anyone on Google. I learned this morning that his family has asked for it to be removed and of course I took it down immediately," said Le Pen, who posted the image after a journalist compared her National Front (FN) party to the Islamic State group which killed Foley.
The images were tweeted on Le Pen's official account with the caption "This is Daesh" (an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group) and showed Foley's bloodied body with his decapitated head on his torso, a man on fire in a cage, and a victim being driven over by a tank.
Foley's parents John and Diane said Le Pen had used the photograph of their son "shamefully" and they were "deeply disturbed".
Foley, a freelance journalist, was captured in Syria in 2012 and beheaded in August 2014.
The anti-immigration FN received 6.8 million votes in regional elections on Sunday, but failed to win a single region after the mainstream parties worked together to block it.
Le Pen, the daughter of the party's co-founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, is aiming to run in France's 2017 presidential election.