Segolene Royal (C), Socialist Party candidate in La Rochelle for the legislative elections, arrives in front of a wall of journalists outside the prefecture in La Rochelle, south-western France June 12, 2012. Royal will face a Socialist party opponent in the second round of voting in the parliamentary elections next Sunday. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe (FRANCE - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS MEDIA)

London - Francois Hollande’s former partner has demanded ‘respect’ from his current girlfriend in an increasingly bitter war of words.

The French media have likened the spat between Segolene Royal, the mother of the president’s four children, and first lady Valerie Trierweiler, who is nicknamed The Rottweiler, to ‘Dallas at the Elysee Palace’.

Miss Royal, a former presidential candidate who lived with Mr Hollande for 30 years before he left her for Miss Trierweiler, is standing for parliament in the western town of La Rochelle against left-winger Olivier Falorni. She was outraged when Miss Trierweiler tweeted warm support for Mr Falorni. Prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault intervened to tell the new first lady to ‘know her place’, while a French newspaper described Mr Hollande as ‘a man sandwiched between two feisty women’.

Miss Royal responded to Tuesday’s tweet last night. ‘I did not want to react yesterday because the blow was so violent,’ she said. ‘But that does not mean I didn’t feel mortified by it. I demand respect as the mother of a family whose children hear what is said.’ - Daily Mail