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Hollande to visit UK without companion

BELEAGUERED French premier Francois Hollande will arrive in Britain this week without an official female companion as Downing Street confirmed there would be no programme for political wives or partners at Friday's UK-France summit.

Just days after the president's split from outgoing First Lady Valerie Trierweiler, his partner of seven years, was formally announced, Mr Hollande could be forgiven for welcoming a trip abroad albeit for just one day.

The publicity surrounding his alleged affair with actress Julie Gayet has not helped ease the pressure on the left-wing politician, whose poll ratings are the worst for any serving president in a generation. "I do not think there is a spouses' programme, no," explained David Cameron's spokesman.

While there are no details of the summit, it is thought the two leaders will, following a bilateral with officials, have a working lunch.

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