French far-right presidential candidate Eric Zemmour was left lightly injured after being assaulted at his first campaign rally on Sunday where fighting also broke out during his speech in front of thousands of supporters.
The 63-year-old author and television commentator suffered a wrist injury when a man grabbed him violently as he made his way towards the stage at a giant exhibition centre northeast of Paris on Sunday afternoon, an aide said.
The rally was his first official campaign event since his announcement on Tuesday that he would seek to unseat centrist President Emmanuel Macron in next April's election.
"The stakes are huge: if I win it will be the start of winning back the most beautiful country in the world," Zemmour told the crowd in Villepinte which cheered his anti-immigration rhetoric loudly.
Shortly after he started speaking, fighting broke out and chairs were thrown at activists who stood up with "No to Racism" written on their T-shirts.
"We wanted to do a non-violent protest," said Aline Kremer from the group SOS Racisme, which organised the stunt. "People jumped on them and started hitting them."
A crew from the popular but critical Quotidien nightly TV news show was also booed and briefly removed by security, with hostility to the media a feature of Zemmour's and other speeches at the event. (AFP)