The grandson of a Maltese Jew has become France’s interior minister.

Gerald Darmanin has replaced Christopher Castaner, who was asked to step down by French President Emmanuel Macron because of his handling of the anti-government gilets jaunes protests last year.

Thirty-seven-year-old Darmanin was born to a working-class family with Algerian and Maltese roots.

While he publicly promotes that his mother was a cleaner and his father managed a bistro, less is known about his Maltese lineage when it comes to the previous generation.

But Darmanin has become quite a controversial figure.

Nicknamed ‘Judas’ after defecting from the conservative Les Républicains party and joining Emmanuel Macron’s centrist camp

He was nicknamed ‘Judas’ after defecting from the conservative Les Républicains party and joining Emmanuel Macron’s centrist camp, where he was awarded a high-profile finance ministry job.

He could also face a fresh investigation into an alleged rape, following a recent court ruling.

The Paris Court of Appeals says a judge may reopen the case which saw a woman accuse Darmanin of sexually harassing and then raping her in 2009.

He says the accusation is baseless.

Darmanin’s appointment earlier this week is part of a cabinet reshuffle by Macron and is seen as the relaunch of his bid for another term as president in the 2022 elections.

It was widely expected after Macron’s party performed poorly in recent local elections.

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