(Bloomberg) -- French far-right politician Marine Le Pen said her party will end cooperation with the Alternative for Germany in the next European Parliament following comments by an AfD lawmaker that appeared to play down the crimes of the Nazis.

The AfD’s lead candidate in next month’s European elections, Maximilian Krah, was quoted last week by Italian newspaper la Repubblica as saying that not all members of the Nazi SS paramilitary organization were criminals. Krah was already under pressure after his assistant in the EU parliament was detained last month suspected of spying for China.

“It’s enough — AfD is going from one provocation to another,” Le Pen, who heads France’s National Rally, or RN, said Wednesday on Europe 1 radio. “It’s time to make a clean break with this movement, which has no leadership and is clearly under the sway of radical groups within it.”

Le Pen’s move could be a first step toward a realignment of far-right parties represented in the EU legislature. They are currently divided into two groups, hampering them from securing key posts in the bloc’s administration.

The European Conservatives and Reformists group, or ECR, includes the parties of Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and France’s Eric Zemmour, while Le Pen’s party and the AfD belong to Identity and Democracy, or ID.

Le Pen’s RN is expected to trounce French President Emmanuel Macron’s group in the EU elections and has a double-digit lead in the polls ahead of the June 6-9 vote.

Read More: Why Eyes Are on the Far Right in European Elections: QuickTake

The decision by RN to end ties with the AfD was first reported by newspaper Liberation. AfD spokesman Daniel Tapp declined to comment and referred to a party leadership meeting Wednesday morning where the issue will be discussed.

The two parties were already at odds following a media report that AfD members attended a meeting where a remigration scheme was discussed that echoed policies of the Nazis. Talks between Le Pen and AfD co-leader Alice Weidel in Paris didn’t resolve the conflict.

“There isn’t a war between groups. There are ongoing discussions about how we can topple the majority at the European parliament,” Le Pen told Europe 1 Wednesday.

Far-right parties can find common ground on issues including control of borders, “a desire to remain sovereign” and “defending veto rights of nations,” she said.

In a sign of possible movement, Le Pen attended a meeting in Madrid on Sunday with Spain’s Vox, which is part of the ECR.

The RN in recent years has sought to portray itself as a moderate party that prioritizes the economy and people’s livelihoods.

--With assistance from William Horobin.

(Updates with Le Pen comments starting in third paragraph)

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.