Macron appoints gay French PM’s ex-partner as foreign minister

French president Emmanuel Macron has appointed Stéphane Séjourné, the ex-partner of new prime minister Gabriel Attal, to the role of foreign minister. 

On Tuesday (9 January) Macron named 34-year-old education minister Gabriel Attal as France’s youngest – and first gay – prime minister. The appointment also makes him the youngest head of government in the world at present. 

Following this, the French president has now appointed Stéphane Séjourné, 38, to the post of foreign minister, replacing 67-year-old Catherine Colonna. 

“I appreciate the honor done to me today,” Séjourné wrote on X/Twitter, sharing a video of the handover ceremony at the Quai d’Orsay between Colonna and himself. 

“Representing my country in the world, carrying its unique voice, its conception of human dignity, is a heavy load.

Je mesure l’honneur qui m’est fait aujourd’hui. ⁰⁰Représenter mon pays dans le monde, porter sa voix singulière, sa conception de la dignité humaine, est une charge lourde. ⁰⁰Je remercie le président de la République et le Premier ministre pour leur confiance. https://t.co/BqKs9Afty8

— Stéphane Séjourné (@steph_sejourne) January 12, 2024

“I thank the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister for their trust.”

Gabriel Attal and former partner Stéphane Séjourné were previously in a civil union

Stéphane Séjourné and Gabriel Attal were previously in a civil union – reportedly from 2019 – but as of 2023 were no longer together, Attal’s staff previously telling daily newspaper Le Figaro “he and Séjourné have not been a couple for two years now”. 

Attal’s appointment makes him one of the most powerful people in France – a stratospheric rise to power in just under a decade of being involved in politics – and comes as Marcon seeks to reinvigorate his political image. 

Attal previously served as a government spokesperson and public accounts minister and was named a junior minister in 2018. 

At 29, he was the youngest member of a government under France’s current political system as he beat the previous record set by François Baroin in 1995. 

In 2023, he was appointed minister of national education and youth – against setting a new record as the youngest person to hold the role. 

Announcing his post as PM on Twitter/X Macron wrote: “I know I can count on your energy and your commitment to implement the rearmament and regeneration project that I announced.”

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