Beleaguered French presidential candidate Francois Fillon was put on the defensive again over the weekend following two fresh controversies.
Mr Fillon’s party apologised on Saturday for tweeting a caricature of rival Emmanuel Macron that Mr Fillon admitted was anti-Semitic.
And on Sunday it emerged that he had accepted two suits from a friend worth €13,000 (£11,500; $13,900).
France sets a limit of €4,600 that any individual can donate to a candidate.
“A friend gave me suits as a present in February. So what?” Mr Fillon said in an interview with French news daily Les Echos on Sunday.
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The caricature of Mr Macron, Mr Fillon’s main rival, showed the candidate with a hooked nose, wearing a top hat and carrying a red sickle with which he was cutting a cigar.
Mr Macron is not Jewish but the image appeared to take aim as his past in banking. Critics said it was reminiscent of anti-Semitic Nazi propaganda.
Mr Fillon acknowledged the similarity, saying that the cartoon “evoked the images of a dark period of our history and exploited an ideology that I have always fought against”.
And he added on Twitter: “Politics is tough but it must remain dignified. I will not tolerate my party using caricatures that use the themes of anti-Semitic propaganda.”
Mr Fillon was at one point the favourite to win the presidency but his campaign has been hit by a series of scandals, including an investigation into allegations that he paid his wife €831,400 (£710,000; $900,000) of public funds for work she didn’t do.
He denies any wrongdoing.
French elections: Beleaguered Fillon hit by fresh scandals