PARIS (Reuters) - French far-right leader Marine Le Pen said on Wednesday police had confiscated her driving licence for a string of road offences - but insisted they had been committed by someone else.
The National Front party leader, who recently called speed detection radars "another tax disguised as a life-saving campaign", said she had taken the punishment in 2012 to prevent the real culprits from getting into trouble.
"Not wishing to denounce those who were responsible, I saw my licence go up in smoke," Le Pen said, after the satirical Le Canard Enchaine newspaper ran a story headlined: "Marine wants to steer France but she no longer has a licence".
She said the newspaper should have checked the photos of the traffic offences in question and that they would have shown she was not behind the wheel.
Under the French system, a driver loses a number of points for every recorded traffic offence such as breach of speed limits and loses their licence once they have no points left. Many radars are fitted with photo equipment.
Le Pen's anti-immigrant, anti-euro party came first in European Parliament elections this year and was seen in one poll last month beating Socialist Francois Hollande if she faced him in the 2017 election runoff.
Reporting By Brian Love