Head of France's National Assembly to keep job amid probe

France's head of lower house of Parliament says he is determined to continue his job after he was charged with alleged conflict of interest

PARIS -- The speaker of France's lower house of parliament says he is determined to continue with his job after he was charged with a conflict of interest for allegedly taking advantage of his past business position to help his girlfriend.

Richard Ferrand, the president of the National Assembly and a key ally of French President Emmanuel Macron, denies doing anything illegal.

Ferrand was charged by investigating judges Tuesday.

In a statement Thursday, he said he will defend himself.

The judicial probe, formally opened last year, followed reports about Ferrand's past business practices as head of a Brittany insurance company, before he became a lawmaker in 2012.

Ferrand stepped down as minister in Macron's government in 2017 after the media revelations about his girlfriend were first aired.