French president Nicolas Sarkozy and his socialist election rival Francois Hollande are “cousins” who are both descended from the same 17th century peasant, it has been claimed.
The two men from the opposite sides of the political spectrum are vying to be elected as the next president of France in May’s election.
But they share a common ancestor named Claude Labully-Berty who worked as a farm labourer in the French Alps almost 400 years ago, a new book has claimed.
In the second volume of his book The Political World, author Jean-Louis Beaucarnot has traced both Mr Sarkozy and Mr Hollande to the same man from the tiny village of Saint-Genix-sur-Guiers, near the Swiss border.
Mr Sarkozy is decended from Mr Labully-Berty’s son Pierre, while Mr Hollande’s ancestor is the labourer’s son Claude.
But it was not until the mid-19th century that the Labully-Bertys managed to elevate their social stature when one family member invented France’s famous Labully cake, which is still eaten today.
French daily France-Soir said: “They way these two men attack each other on a daily basis on the campaign trail, one would have thought they have nothing in common.
“But it now appears that they do, in the form of a humble Alpine peasant who would be delighted to know his descendants have done so well.”
Mr Beaucarnot told last year how Dominique Strauss-Kahn was descended from a notorious 19th century “pimp”.
The shamed former IMF chief is the great-grandson of brothel keeper Leon Bricot, who ended his life in prison for shooting one of his customers, Mr Beaucarnot wrote in the first volume of The Political World.