French Prime Minister Jean Castex delivers his speech to unveil the new government policy at the National Assembly in Paris, France [Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters]

France’s newly-appointed Prime Minister, Jean Castex, has vowed to be “intransigent” in defending France’s official secularism, promising to fight “radical Islamism in all its forms” as “an absolute priority”.

Unveiling new government policy in Paris on Wednesday, Castex told the National Assembly that the French republic was being “shaken to its foundations” by “the coalition of its enemies – terrorists, conspiracy theorists, separatists and communitarians”.

Castex, a centre-right provincial mayor who graduated from the elite National School of Administration, said a new law to combat “separatism” would be introduced after the summer break.

It would aim to “avoid certain groups

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